Google Maps to the Rescue!

Google Maps LogoWe all know how invaluable Google Maps are in our daily lives, but what about in the classroom? Google Maps has far more potential then just providing directions. Using Google Maps, students can actually map out space-based information. Rather than memorizing facts about locational events and geographic dispersions, map them out! These maps can be collaborated on and shared via social media – maps are a quintessential part of Web 2.0.

As a Geographer and prospective Social Studies teacher, I am naturally drawn to uses of Google Maps for documenting bioregions, migration routes, historical sites, etc. However, Google Maps could definitely be applied to Math and Biology too.

Students will need to have a gmail account to create their own maps. This might be a problem. But, there are many alternatives out there. uMapper allows you to start playing around with map creation without even creating account. A more extensive list of mapping tools for educators is provided here.

Using My Places on Google Maps, I created a Map showing some of the significant places in Victoria, BC. This got me thinking that you could set-up a Google Maps scavenger hunt for your students. When you click-on each marker a description appears – this is editable. So the teacher, or students, can create an entire scavenger hunt using mapped out information from the course material. Please comment if you have had any experience with an activity like this. I would like to know more!

Here is my Google Maps creation:

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