Remember when Google Maps was incredibly innovative and exciting? Well check out these fantastic mapping tools, each with brilliant interactive ways for students to get involved (and literally put themselves on the map) in new and exciting ways!
1. Quik Maps
Quick, easy to use and best of all, free, Quik maps does exactly what it quite wittily says on the tin – allows you to ‘doodle on Google’! Pull up Google maps and add your own routes, drawings and annotations. It has a huge variety of possible classroom uses, from working out the best routes between towns and cities to getting students to draw their own versions of famous landmarks on the geographically accurate locations!
Fantastic for class projects following on from a group trip, Atlas allows users to add photographs and comments to maps. So students can modify a map of the area they visited with photos from the trip to illustrate what they did in each location, as well as adding commentary and review in text form. Fabulous for uploading reports on class trips to school blogs, or for encouraging students to create a diary of their holiday or vacation travel and activities to share in class and beyond.
3. Map Skip
This fantastic crowd-sourced project turns the map into a patchwork of individuals’ shared memories and experiences. Just hover over the thousands of icons on any given town to see others’ photographs and stories of time spent there – encourage students to add to the map or use it as the basis for storytelling or research – anything goes! Sounds, stories and photos can all be shared, so pupils could be encouraged to create their own personal story or memory about a special place and share it in a creative way.
Genius in its simplicity, this brilliant website allows users to upload video and audio of a particular route and then sets it alongside an interactive map showing the progress of the virtual tour. So students could video themselves walking the streets of their hometown, for example, giving a commentary like a tour guide, then upload it to play alongside a map showing their route as the video progresses!
This brilliant mapping tool encourages students to consider geographical, cultural and ethical issues by comparing the living conditions and environment in their home country with that of others around the world. The site gives clear, simple historical facts about countries and comparisons on fascinating aspects such as oil consumption, class, healthcare and unemployment – a great tool to use from the geography to the anthropology classroom.
What ways have you used digital maps in the classroom? And what other mapping tools have you explored to increase engagement?
Image courtesy of Flickr, scratchpost