“My Maps” Part 1 – Getting to Know the World

I have never seen second graders so excited and engaged while using a digital tool.  Google’s “My Maps” had them hooked from the start.  By going to “My Maps” teachers have the ability to create and share a map, for example, within Google Classroom or can direct students to create their own.  Once students are able to view a map of the world, the options to utilize “My Maps” in the classroom become limitless.  In addition, once you create one, it automatically appears in Google Drive!

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Recently, Ms. Winter’s students were simply asked to open a “My Map” shared with them through Google Classroom. From trying out different types of views to zooming in and out, students began exploring this virtual globe.   They were then asked to “pin” continents one at a time so they could see the location for each.  What a fun and interactive way to learn!  Each map appeared as their own individual copy, however, if we had asked them to refresh the screen, they would have noticed that we were essentially working together on the same map!

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The next steps with these eager students will involve taking “pinning” to the next level as they will add images to represent each continent.  Other ways in which any grade level can take advantage of this wonderful tool involve calculating distances between travel destinations, “pinning” famous landmarks, determining possible locations during a “Mystery Hangout” or Skype (which a group of teachers just did successfully in a training!), and so much more.

I look forward to writing another post about “My Maps” as we delve further into its potential.  In the meantime, I highly encourage you to explore and certainly reach out to your technology integration coordinator.  Thanks to our amazing tech team, I was introduced to the world of “My Maps!”

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