Daily Genius

My Maps: a customizable way to use Google Maps in the classroom

While typically viewed as a navigation tool for mobile devices when traveling to a specific destination, or possibly as a research tool when attempting to learn more about a specific geographic region, there is a hidden gem inside of Google Maps that allows students to leverage the tool in the classroom. Within Google Maps, the “My Maps” section allows students to create, edit, share and collaborate on a custom created Google Map.

Within a map created in the “My Maps” section of Google Maps, students can add pins for locations and within each pin, text, images and video (from YouTube) can be added. Further, just like all Google Drive tools, My Maps can be shared and edited by collaborators.

Where does My Maps fit into the classroom?

Imagine a student in a history or social studies class tracking their learning geographically with My Maps. For each time period, location or event that is explored in the class, a student would add a pin to the map with detailed information, images and videos generated by the student, or even related Google Docs or Slides. In an English class, students reading a novel could track the progress of a character, or multiple characters, creating a visual representation of the story and their understanding of the text.

Google Maps and My Maps provides a viable visual alternative to the traditional approach of assessing student understanding through a writing assignment. The visual nature of the My Maps platform, potential for collaborative work and inclusion of multimedia makes My Maps a tool worth exploring in the classroom.

Ideas for Using My Maps / Google Maps in the Classroom:

Step by Step Guide to Google’s My Maps

Want the Google Drive version? That will help you out.

Want to learn more from Greg this Summer? He will be on both coasts! ettsummer.org/greg