I was really excited when I first came across the My Maps option in Google. My awesome team member, Angeline, came up with an amazing project for students to do in her reading class. They read a story about how people come from many different countries. Connecting to the text, they discussed with one another where everyone’s families came from. Students researched about their countries, used a thinking map to organize their information, and then students used Google Maps to drop a pin where their family is from. They also had to add images as well as write three-four paragraphs about where their family is from, what their country is known for, what kind of food/ attractions there are, and anything else they wanted to add.
The students really enjoyed using Google My Maps. They liked looking at other people’s countries and being able to contribute to the maps. The application itself is fairly easy to use. It is important to make sure the link is sharable as well as public on the web without a sign – in or it will create trouble. It is also key to specify to students not to erase or mess with anyone else’s points. You can add multiple layers for students to drop pins. I recommend grouping a couple of students together 5-6 students for each layer. Once all students are done, change the link so its not shared. This way, students can’t mess with each other’s. Sometimes the link doesn’t work for some students, usually they just request for sharing permission and that was it and it worked.