Written by Guest Writer- Will Sederino
When I was a youngster (35 odd years ago!) the world seemed to be such a big place. Even 20 years ago when I travelled through Europe contacting the family meant paying through the nose to use a landline telephone to call back home! Travelling overseas meant you were pretty much uncontactable unless you wanted to be found. Move forward to the present day and it’s a much different story!
With the ever increasing amount of tools available (especially within the classroom) to communicate with individuals, groups and other classrooms from all over the world, students’ understanding of their place in this world has changed considerably over time.
The world is a much smaller place than it used to be.
Tools such as Google My Maps have given students an insight into other communities and different parts of the world they wouldn’t normally have access to. Google My Maps also has the ability to make us more familiar with our own backyard! I love using My Maps to make lessons much more relevant and real for the students! Here are some examples of that…
Google My Maps is a tool that allows users to create a personalised editable Google Map of their own! It uses the same “Google” technology that allows programs such as Google Maps to work. The main functions that this tool offer are:
- The ability to drop pins and add markers to your map
- Personalising these markers with icons
- Adding lines (useful for representing travel/journeys)
- Adding shapes (useful for land area)
- Measure distances and areas
- Upload a Google Sheet with longitude and latitude data on specific items (e.g. Active volcanoes of the world)
- Adding different layers on your map for a variety of different topics (used similarly to sub-headings)
So how can we use Google My Maps in my classroom?