|Scooped by Jade Quayle|
Google Maps is a free online mapping technology that provides high-resolution aerial or satellite images for most urban areas all over the world. Though not explicitly educational, Google Maps' is a highly accessible visual tool that can empower teachers and students to understand the physical and political regions of the world. It allows teachers and students to move around the map manually, search for main reference points, and zoom in and out of these reference points for a rounded understanding. It could be incorporated into lesson plans through the use of the Interactive white board (IWB), on the class desktop or on individual iPads/ laptops/ desktops (depending on the classroom’s resources). Because of its easy accessibility and operation it could be used both as a collaborative and individual tool for discussion or research for almost any target age, so long as the terminology is discussed prior to its use. As such, Google maps would be perfect as part of a presentation assessment: where the student would refer to the satellite image as a reference point during their discussion of a specific region.
Better yet, “besides using Google Maps to teach the fundamentals of mapping … you can inspire students to investigate the world and to think spatially” (Google). These high order thinking skills are deep-seated in the production of independent learners. Where even the National Research Council state that “spatial thinking must be recognized as a fundamental part of K–12 education and as an integrator and a facilitator for problem solving across the curriculum” (2006, p.318).
National Research Council. (2006). Learning to think spatially: GIS as a support system in the k-12 curriculum, Washington: The National Academic Press.
Google (2012). Google Maps: Education. Retrieved April 2, 2013 from http://maps.google.com/help/maps/education/learn/index.html