We are happy to be back in the newsroom after a brief hiatus and we are kicking off this episode with a geography focus using G-Suite apps My Maps and Tour Builder. With these apps, it is possible to integrate geography, social studies, and really any content area with technology.
Where do you want to travel? How do I get there? Plug this information into your phone or GPS device and bam, your device directs you where to go with little to no effort on the travelers' end.
Google My Maps
The convenience of having digital maps in the palm of our hands allows us to easily get from one place to another but the ability to read/create maps is not only for getting - point A to Point B. Being able to read/create a map helps develop and hone the following:
What is Google My Maps?
Google My Maps is an online tool that allows users to drop pins in chosen places, add images, descriptions, links, and more. It is accessible through the 'More" option from Google Drive and like most Google apps, it allows for sharing and collaborating.
Why use Google My Maps?
Google My Maps is adaptable for any subject area and the 4 C's (critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication) can easily be embedded in all activities using My Maps.
Tech It Up a Notch
If educators want to Tech it Up a Notch using Google My Maps, why not consider creating a My Map to lead students through required materials interactively. This could be for introducing new material, reviewing past material or other ways that not only provide needed information but will have students engaged in the interactivity.
As educators, we want our students to be actively involved in their learning and Google My Maps is the perfect platform for students to actively show what they know. Below are only a few of the many ways to have students use Google My Maps. If you have other ideas, be sure to add them in the comments below.
Google My Maps Resources
Neigh-BEAR-Hood Watch Kids
Map Projections - Shape, Distance, Area
Antarctic Expedition 2015
The Amazing Tech Race
Google Tour Builder
What is Tour Builder?
Tour Builder is a free online tool which enables the creator to design and send their audience on a step by step tour of pretty much anything in the world! At each stop along the tour, it is possible to share text, photos, videos, even other websites (maybe even a Google Form) for the end user to explore throughout the tour. Once a Tour is created, it can be available in the Tour Builder Gallery or shared with a published URL so that others may participate in the Tour.
Why use Tour Builder?
When we think of incorporating the 4 Cs into student learning experiences, designing an online tour can easily tap into all of those skills. Students can create tours to showcase their learning in practically any content area! Building a Tour requires the students to use their critical thinking skills by designing the Tour in advance and then and problem solving as the Tour is built. By incorporating interesting questions, appealing images, and other links, students are communicating their ideas in creative ways. Of course, it is possible to collaborate with others to share the workload and compromise along the way. Visit the Tour Builder FAQ for details.
Tech It Up a Notch!
Encourage students to create virtual tours as an alternative to a traditional presentation.
Google Tour Builder Resources
Tour Builder With Google
Educational Inspiration for Tour Builder