Having attended the Google Teacher Academy in the Philippines recently, I have returned with my mind buzzing with so many applications. I did however fall in love with one application in particular – Google MapsEngine! The
possibilities are limited only to your imagination. So what is it, and how can it be used in class?
Google MapsEngine https://mapsengine.google.com/map/u/0/ allows you to add layers to a map and therefore make it as interactive and precise to the lesson being taught as you wish. Each ‘layer’ on the map can hold different information for the student. This is a great way to ‘guide’ young students through research or extending their knowledge on a particular subject. Take a look at this YouTube clip by Richard Burn to see how easy it is to set your map up.
An added advantage is the ability to import data. Say your students go on vacation and instead of putting them through the usual routine of sharing where they went through a written recount, with Google MapsEngine, you can import the information. From here, the ideas start to flow, such as have students view the map and write questions on a Google doc which can be answered by the appropriate students. With a little help even the youngest student can fill out a Google form. Once you have the data you require and it has imported directly into your spread sheet, upload it into your map and you instantly have real time data for students to view.
Take a look at this great tutorial by Trevor Beck to see how easy it is to set up.
MapsEngine is a great tool for visualising information about places or things. By adding it to your teacher tool belt, you instantly bring learning to life. I’d love to hear how else teachers are using this application.