Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Using Google Maps in the Classroom

Over the summer I had a chance to listen to Micah Shippee at an EdTechTeam Summit and he opened my eyes to some of the features in Google Maps I had not even thought of. Here are some cool ideas and tips for using Google Maps in your class.

When you go to Google Maps you need to check out the Your Places section.  This is located in the menu on the upper left hand side pictured below.

Here you will be able to Create your own maps - you need to think of these maps more like a Google Doc then a Map.  In other words you can share this map with others or keep it private.  You can have others edit the map or just be able to view only.

Maps can be used by people to chart out all of their travels and important locations.  They can be used in Social Studies; students can map out important events in the colonies (by location!) and not just in note form.  I have created Maps for my Language Arts students charting a main characters journey through a novel - the ideas are limitless, but the key is to think about the Your Places section as more of a Google Doc then a generic typical map.  This is far more then driving directions here.

Below I shared a Map with my students and asked the to do three simple things - 1.  Search for their Dream Vacation location.  2.  Add it to the Map 3.  Give me once sentence why you would like to go to this location.

What we ended up getting was a pretty cool look into the world of my 7th Graders - all the obvious answers from Hawaii to Australia and in between were placed on our map.  Check it out below.

Once you have a map created with multiple locations added your map (when viewed online) will be searchable by locations that you have added to the map.