Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tech Tip Tuesday

I'm hosting my first ever link up! I've been inspired by the 3 day GAFE (Google Apps for Education) Summit I was able to attend this past weekend. If you haven't had a chance to go to any of Google's education summits, I highly recommend them. There is a variety of sessions you can choose from based on your ability level and interests. They have summits all over the world. Check them out!

I wanted to share one (of many!) tips and tricks I learned this weekend.

Who's heard of Maps Engine Lite?

Google has created a more interactive way to use maps in your classroom. Geography can now be an interactive experience for your students. They can work solo, in partnerships, or groups to create layered maps, depending on what your project is.

Here's a project my students did this past year as a culminating activity. In 5th grade we study U.S. History so I have my students complete a road trip, going through 20 states and seeing at least 20 monuments, state parks, historical sites, etc. I had each group create a map and plot their routes, adding in points of interest, pictures, and a brief synopsis at each stop. They absolutely loved it!

But, wait... there's more!

On Friday, I was able to attend a workshop completely focused on Google's Geo Tools, and I got to hang out at Google's headquarters in Palo Alto, Ca. It was amazing! I may have nerded out a bit! So, while I had used Maps Engine before, I learned a new trick. You can import data into maps to create live real time information for your students. Studying earth science and want to see where earthquakes have occurred over the last 20 years? No problem!

There's tons of ways to further customize your map, but it can be a fun, interactive process with your students!

What about you? What tech tips and tricks do you have that work well for you? How are you using technology in your classroom? I'd love to have you link up and share your knowledge with everyone else! I'm hoping to make this a weekly link up. I'd love your help in making it a success!

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