I have to admit, I’m a huge fan of Google’s education products. In particular, I use Google maps all the time. First, as a map to find my way around, but also as an interactive mapping tool with students. Here’s an example from our 8th grade social studies unit.
View A Region in Turmoil in a larger map
The purpose of this project was to take news stories about the protests happening in the Middle East, and map them to a location in the world, so that the students could tie media, news, and other information to actual locations. This map has now been viewed over 6000 times and was recently included in the NY Times Learning blog.
Tom Barrett, has also curated a presentation on Google Maps in the classroom, which is worth sharing here.
Here, the tool is important, since you can do things with it that you really can’t do with a traditional paper map. When we examine educational technologies with our students, the best tools to use are the ones which give us pedagogical affordances we wouldn’t otherwise have, and which allow for our students to collaborate easily, and share their work authentically.