Automatic Tour for Student point review: An idea of Ben’s ideas that I really liked was getting students to all contribute a Google Earth point (saved as a KMZ file) and the tutor visits each one in turn to discuss. An example would be 'find me a sand dune' then the tutor reviews if the points really mark sand dunes. The tech bit is to put them in a folder and running an automatic tour. To do it:
1] Get students to send you points in answer to a question by saving them and sending them to you.
2] Drag the points into a folder
3] Click the folder in the places column (it turns blue)
4] Click the play automatic tour button (not the normal tour button). It's at the bottom left of the places column; a folder icon with a black triangle alongside it.
You will fly from point to point with a fixed time interval. I wouldn't use this for a normal tour (a flight over a long distance should take longer than one between two closer points) but showing each student's point to the class and commenting on them will engage the students.
Love for Google Earth Tours: What came out of both the GeoEDU advisory meeting (15 or so Google Geo education specialists advising Google on the future of their tools before GGTI) and the GGTI was that educators LOVE Google Earth Tours. As someone who’s advocated them for education for a long time I'm really pleased to see people's interest.
There are now two ways to create Google Earth tours, with the Google Earth client and with Google Earth Tour builder. I thought I'd summarise the differences for you:
Characteristic Google Earth Tours Tour Builder
Ease of use Pretty good Best
Editable Yes but very complex Yes and easy
Metaphor Movie clip Powerpoint slides
Use offline? Yes No
Audio yes. No
Layer control. Sophisticated. Basic
In short, if you are used to google earth tours then don't bother switching but if you're just starting then tour builder is probably easier.