Google has had help pages and forums for Google Maps and Google Earth for quite a while. This week they announced the launch of new, revised help forums where you can ask and answer questions of the community of Google Earth and Google Maps users. The help forums are now integrated with the help center (advise directly from the Google engineers) which will allow you to search both resources in one place. Visit the new Google Earth or Google Maps help forums to find the answer to questions like, "why does the new Mac OSX Google Earth plug-in crash my browser?"
If you are more of the visual learning type, there are two excellent YouTube channels dedicated to helping you learn Google Maps and Google Earth. Below is a video introduction to Google Maps.
Applications for Education
Here are some previous ideas I've posted about using Google Earth in the classroom.
Google Lit Trips - The Greatest Road Trip Stories
View Ancient Rome in Google Earth
Geography and Science Lesson Plans Using Google Earth
Real World Math
Thematic Mapping Engine
Here are some ideas about using Google Maps in the classroom.
Where Does Oil Come From?
Create a National Parks Virtual Tour
Woices - Podcasts Meet Google Maps
Paint Map - Search Paintings from Around the World