My three favorite Google tools for social studies teachers and students

Longtime readers of this blog know that my background is mainly teaching computer science along with social studies and some corporate training. It teaches social studies which will always be my first professional love. I’ve been using the Google Workspace tool with students for fifteen + years (before G Suite, before Google Apps, before Google Drive, before just a collection of Google tools). These are my three favorite Google tools for social studies teachers.

Google Earth
Google Earth is available in two versions. Pro version is the version that you can install on your desktop. This is the version I like if a choice is given because it has more features like the web browser version. And while working for the web version, Google Earth Pro is a great way to record described tours. You can find my playlist of Google Earth tutorials here.

Want a lesson plan to introduce Google Earth to your students? See the world with Google Earth.

Google Books
This is a often overlooked search tool. Google Books gives students access to millions of free books and periodicals. Google Books really shines when you start looking for works published in the 19th and early 20th centuries. One of the best features of Google Books is the ability to search for a phrase or keyword in a book. Learn how to use Google Books by watching these tutorial videos.

Google Scholar

Unlike search results on, Google Scholar search results are not a ranking of websites. Instead, Google Scholar Search results list scholarly articles related to your query. In addition to filing U.S. patents, Google Scholar can be used to identify state and federal court cases. Here is a brief overview of the five key features of Google Scholar that students should know how to use.

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