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Tip of the Week: Google Cultural Institute

Today it’s all about the Constructivist learning. I’m going to share a few things and will leave it up to you to do most of the exploring. There is literally so much stuff that is available for me to share at today’s Tip that there is absolutely no way I could cover it all.

How much stuff you ask?

How about over 6,000,000 artifacts and photos? So . . . you’re gonna be on your own on this one.

Titled the Google Cultural Institute, you can seriously get lost in here for hours. Think the largest museum you can think of, then multiply that by a very large number and you get a sense of what’s available. And I’m not even talking about the whole Institute. Just the Historic Moments and World Wonders sections.

Ready to dive in?

Google has partnered with hundreds of museums, cultural institutions, and archives to host the world’s cultural treasures online at a section of the Institute called Historic Moments. Here you can find artworks, landmarks and world heritage sites, as well as digital exhibitions that tell the stories behind the archives of cultural institutions across the globe.

Many cultural institutions have extensive archives of information, much of which cannot always be put on public display. Our partner museums and curators have created exhibitions to bring these archives to life and make them available online. Browse through photos, videos, manuscripts and documents on a wide range of topics – from Nelson Mandela’s handwritten prison letters, to the ‘La Dolce Vita’ era in Italy.


Each exhibition tells a story using documents, photos, videos and in some cases personal accounts of events. Start by hitting the Explore Everything button on the left side to get a sense of what’s available and to quickly browse through the exhibitions. You can also use the list to filter results in a variety of ways.

Once in an exhibit, I really like the ability to use the Compare / Contrast Tool to view two items side by side – using the zoom and drag feature to zero in on specific pieces of a photo or artifact.

historic moments 1

I also like the Discover option – clicking on this icon located in the bottom left of the exhibition you’re in links you out to other related exhibitions. And in a site this large, this is a handy tool for finding stuff you can use. You also have the option to save items that you view to create galleries – also a handy tool when there is so much to look at.

Get to the World Wonders section by clicking the down arrow in the top left corner. Select World Wonders.

cultural institute other

World Wonders brings modern and ancient world heritage sites online using Street View, 3D modelling and other Google technologies. Explore historic sites including Stonehenge, the archaeological areas of Pompeii and the Great Barrier Reef as if you were there. Learn about the history and background of each location with information provided through a partnership with UNESCO.

There are some handy downloadable teaching guides for the World Wonders that you can find here.

There are also some useful YouTube channels that you can check out:

Good luck!

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. AMAZING resource! Thanks for sharing. Now the rest of my afternoon is shot. 🙂

    November 7, 2014
    • glennw #

      Mrs. K,

      I’m not sure if I should say “You’re welcome” or “I’m sorry.” 😉 Glad you’re enjoying it. (Set a timer -it might be the only way to get out later!)

      Thanks for the comment – have fun!


      November 8, 2014
  2. Glenn,
    This is such a great resource! I’ve never heard of the Google Cultural Institute and I am so excited to begin exploring it! I am particularly fascinated by the idea of the World Wonders section. I would love to travel through historic sites using street view or 3D imaging. (We did this in one of my college courses and I absolutely loved it!) I think that incorporating this visual aspect will help students to connect with and understand the concepts better. In a very real way this tool can help history come alive for students! Beats a dry textbook! Thanks for sharing this resource and explaining how to use it. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    November 12, 2014
    • glennw #


      Thanks for the comment! I agree. StreetView and Google Maps/Earth give teachers a ton of tools and possibilities for instruction and learning. Good luck as you start playing with Cultural Institute!


      November 12, 2014

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