Spatial Thinking with Google Maps and Beyond…

18 Ways to Use Google Maps in the Classroom 

In this last newsletter exploring the intersection between mapping and geography, I wanted to share one final resource in the form of Google Maps.

What is Google Maps?
Of course, many of us have likely used Google Maps to quickly locate a destination or to pull up driving directions.  But with Google Maps, you and your students can become arm-chair explorers and cartographers with ease. Google Maps are a fun and visual way to help students understand geography concepts, map reading, location, and distance measurement. Besides using Google Maps to teach the fundamentals of mapping, you can inspire students to investigate the world and to think spatially. Here are just a few of examples of the ways Google Maps can be used by discipline:

Art:

English:

History:

Math:

Modern Languages:

Science:

Sources:

 

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Storytelling with Google Lit Trips

What is a Google Lit Trip?

“Lit Trips are downloadable files that mark the journeys of characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth. Along the way, placemarks with pop-up windows contain “just in time” resources including relevant media, thought-provoking discussion starters, and links to supplementary information about “real world” references in that portion of the story.”  (Welcome to GLT. (2018). Retrieved from http://www.googlelittrips.org/ )
Google Lit Trips can deepen learners’ understanding of a story, as well as aid in developing empathy.  Creating and experiencing a Google Lit Trip can stretch student perceptions of the world in new and unique ways.

For an alphabetical list of Google Lit Trip examples, visit the following link:  Google Lit Trip Library

There you will find titles like:  MacBeth, In Search of Beowulf, Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, WWII Locations: Farewell to Manzanar, Hiroshima, and Night, The Odyssey, A Long Walk to Water, Bud, Not Buddy and many more!

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Digital Citizenship Week 2018

Every year, the third week of October is dedicated to teaching good digital citizenship in hopes that all students will become safe and smart when using technology.  Every day this week during lunch, a few of the boys in Form II have been sharing a tip that serves as a reminder of what it means to be a connected, conscientious digital citizen.

The tips covered this week will range from evaluating information and news sources, to understanding intellectual property, to adopting mindfulness around their digital footprint.  More importantly, the message to the boys has not been an “anti-tech” or fear-based message, but one which embraces the notion of “conscientious connectivity”, being mindful and aware of their online interactions.  In my role, I strive to encourage the boys to focus on the positive outcomes of technology when it is done well.

To provide some perspective into the work that has gone on across the Lower School in this area, here is a quick snapshot:

  • Form C – Digital Citizenship curriculum developed Summer 2018
  • Form B – Digital Citizenship curriculum developed and implemented SY 2017 – 18
  • Form A – Mini-lessons to be piloted during the Life Skills course
  • Form I – Mini-lessons piloted during Form Advisories
  • Form II – Mini-lessons piloted during Form Advisories

While a one-time discussion doesn’t address the need for ongoing dialogue around this topic, it is certainly a step in the right direction.  I welcome any feedback or suggestions that would make our efforts even more impactful.

For more information on Digital Citizenship Week, please see the following link from Common Sense Media.

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Storytelling and Creating Interactive Maps with Google Tour Builder

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What is Google Tour Builder?
Google Tour Builder is a Google tool, which leverages Google Earth technology to allow users to create a story using geographic locations.  With Tour Builder, students use location and place to tell a story or to better convey the details of a literary work.

Here are a few examples of Google Tour Builder from across the curriculum:
The American Revolution
Ancient Egypt

Martin MacIntylre’s classes recently used this tool to explore Rivers within the US.  Here are a few examples:
Rio Grande
Snake River
Sacramento River

For more information see the following link or the video from Eric Curts, from ControlAltAchieve.com below.

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Use your own custom HTML
Google Tour Builder for any Subject – Presented by Eric Curts
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