Adventures in Google Classroomland: My Maps and the Great Pinning

The beauty of my Big Fat Weather Project is how flexible it is and how I’ve been able to teach the students new ways of doing the “same old stuff”.  Last week, they learned how to use Google Keep to collect weather data on their assigned cities.  I overheard one of them THIS WEEK, talk about how they’re using Keep to take notes in one of their specials classes. *SCORE*

This week, we’re learning how to use My Maps.  This app is a really great way to collaborate on a large project like this one.  Since each student has been assigned a city, and we all want to learn something about each city, starting with “where the heck is ‘Thessaloniki, Greece’ anyway?” they are able to tell us all the important stuff in a small space.

Here’s what we’ve done. In Task #1, each student had to find the latitude and longitude of their assigned city and be able to locate it on a map.  They also had to get some general information about the place: history, population, political structure, things to do on a Saturday afternoon, etc.  They’re now taking that info in Task #2 and adding it to our map.

The Great Pinning – 107 cities, one map, lots of new knowledge!

With My Maps, you can pin the location of the city, write a brief description of the place and search for images OR videos about the location. Put it all together and add it to the group map and presto, we have created a digital travel brochure on a map!  Imagine what YOU could do with it… like maybe, in a literature class, pin all the locations in one of Dickens’  stories? mmmmm

So, if you’ve never used My Maps before, check it out.  There are dozens of ways to use it in just about any content area.  Check out this tutorial from Richard Byrne.