Also posted at TIE-Lights
Many educators may be familiar with Lit Trips on Google Earth where teachers and/or students post geographical information around the story lines of great literature. Google Treks follow the same concept, but are not limited to just literature–treks can be created using virtually any content area.
My first session at ISTE 2010 got the conference off to a solid start. Alice Christie conducted a hands-on workshop on using Google Maps for teachers or students to create content related to curriculum: Mapping Mash-ups that Motivate: Deepen Learning Using Web 2.0 Tools . (Specific info for the class is found on the class website page).
Educators or students can create content by inserting place marks on Google Maps that contain text information, links to websites, photos, movies, or any web2.0 content that can be embedded. A series of these place marks can be grouped as a “custom map” that is shared publicly or limited to specific individuals. Google Maps also allows multiple users to collaborate on the same custom map, which is ideal for classroom small group projects. Because it is web based, students can even collaborate from their respective homes if they have an internet connection.
There are many pluses to using Google Maps to create Google Treks content:
- virtually any content area can be used
- the tool accommodates collaborative work
- higher order thinking is engaged with the process
- students can incorporate any web links, media, or web2.0 tools for the content
- Google Maps is much less network intensive than Google Earth (multiple machines running GE at the same time will bog down most networks)
I highly recommend teachers take the time to investigate Alice’s resources and incorporate Google Treks into their curriculum–it’s well worth your effort!
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