Mapping skill has become one of the most important skills that students need to explore as it enables students :
- Understand basic physical systems that affect everyday life
- Learn the location of places and the physical and cultural characteristics of those places in order to function more effectively in our increasingly interdependent world
- Understand the geography of past times and how geography has played important roles in the evolution of people, their ideas, places and environments.
- Develop a mental map of your community, province or territory, country and the world so that you can understand the “where” of places and events.
Here are six useful apps to introduce the power of Maps in your classroom.
1. Google Maps
I have no doubt we’re all familiar with Google Maps. We can elaborate how we use Google Maps effectively to search direction for our specific locations, check traffic jam and alternative routes, and get information about certain places.
2. Google Streetview
Some students may not know that in Google Maps, we can also see various places on earth with 360 experience through Google Stretview. You can engage students to explore their home, school, or favorite locations using Streetview.
Don’t let your students become passive user of Streetview, let them create streetview using Google Camera/Photosphere. Here’s how.
4. Google My Maps
Customize your Google Maps by creating your own Maps. Let students create list of their favorite places or country’s natural resources and engage them to present their locations using Google My Maps. Here’s the tutorial:
5. Google Tour Builder
Put meaningful story on each location with Google Tour Builder. At first, you might think it has the same function with My Maps. Yet, it actually bring much more engaging experience with students as it allow them to write their own story, add pictures, and video to make every place meaningful. You can allow the students to share their life journey and certain places they’ve travelled to make strong connection and meaningful.
6. Google Maps Game :
There are various Google Maps game which challenge students to improve their geographical and navigation skills. Smarty Pins is a trivia game which engage students to guess specific locations name of unique theme. Locate Street & Earth Picker is amazing street-view game which challenge us to give the name of location displayed in the stage.
These Google Maps Apps activities have been used in my Social Studies Class and it definitely changed the way we look our world. Here’s some picture of my students exploring and presenting their experiences of specific location on Google Maps.