Tuesday, November 17, 2015

3 Ways to Make Maps Come Alive in Your Classroom


Have you ever thought about the power of a map and the story it tells? Instead of having your students write a five paragraph essay, why not have them add their paragraph to the description of points on a map? Planning a field trip? Why not have your students locate the best route?

Here are three ways to make your maps come alive!

# 1: Google My Maps

I am a big fan of Google My Maps, which works with your Google account and even saves on Google Drive! This is perfect if you are a Google Apps for Education School and for students under the age of 13.

Students can collaborate, share, add pictures, videos, and text descriptions to illustrate the significance of a location. Need to see if Greenland is bigger than Africa? My Map's polygon tools will help you determine the square mileage.

# 2: Map Me

I was recently made aware of another free website called MapMe, which has a high school and college age feel. This useful tool for older students requires linking to a Facebook or Linked In account.

What I do like about this App is the ability to create categories of locations. By default, you have three categories: Stores, Organizations, and Media. You can add other categories as you see fit!

Map Me has several very interesting features, such as:
  • Crowdsourcing – Lets your visitors add info to the map and lets you moderate all new info and updates
  • Events -Add Events to your map and make it easy for map users to discover events based on date, time and location
  • Feed – The Feed provides real-time updates of the latest information added to the map
  • Embed map – Allow others to embed your map
# 3: NearPod Virtual Field Trips

Although not officially a map, NearPod has changed the way that information is presented and how students are engaged with a new feature called Virtual Field Trips.

In a partnership with 360 Cities, NearPod now gives teachers and students the opportunity to view pristine locations like the Taj Mahal, the Golden Gate Bridge, and The Great Wall of China. You can view famous architecture, famous artifacts, and even different planets! Virtual Field Trips are a great addition to any classroom.

November is Click's for a Cause Month!

For the past three years, November has been "Clicks for a Cause" month. Every time that you visit my blog during the month of November, I will contribute a penny towards the medical fund of a child in need. Here are past beneficiaries of this project. 

Addison Mae Jacobs was born on January 13, 2015, 4 weeks premature. She was born at only 6 lbs 5 oz and 17.5 inches long.  On October 27, 2015, she was diagnosed with Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome (SDS), a devastating disease impacting only one in a million children. SDS is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, bone marrow dysfunction, leukemia predisposition, and skeletal abnormalities.

Addison is currently being seen by nine different medical specialists and her family is coordinating her care between Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. There are many expensive surgeries, tests, and medical costs in her future.  Due to the costly nature of her care, travel expenditures and having to take significant amounts of time off work, her family has setup a GoFundMe account for Addison, as well as a support page to show updates and her progress.

How Can I Help?

I will be donating a penny for every visit to this blog during the month of November. Are you willing to help too?
  • Visit this blog, pray, or spread the word about Addison! 
  •  Become a Coffee Partner and spare $5 to contribute to Addison’s GoFundMe page. Use the #clicks4acause in your message to the family! 
  • Become a Dinner Partner and spare $25 to contribute to Addison’s GoFundMe page. Use the #clicks4acause in your message to the family! 
  •  Become a Courageous giver and make a flat donation or match my donation  at the end of the month to Addison’s GoFundMe page. Use the #clicks4acause in your message to the family! 

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