Teachers Teaching Teachers #53 - Can we use mapping to build our school social networks?

Follow along in this week's Google Notebook

We are coming to the end of an academic year in which many of us involved with Teachers Teaching Teachers -- with the support of Dave Cormier and Jeff Lebow at WorldBridges.com --have begun two elggs (social networking sites): PersonalLearningSpace.com and YouthVoices.net. PersonalLearningSpace has about 1000 middle school students blogging, and Youth Voices has the same number blogging on the high school level. Paul Allison, Lee Baber, Chris Sloan, Susan Ettenheim and others have been following Mike Pegg's Google Maps Mania for for some time, and last summer we planned a project with Jared Cosulich's CommunityWalk that we call Entry Points. We gave our map this title because each of the about 200 markers on our map go (or should go) to a profile in the social networks mentioned above. All fine, but... We're not happy with how this project has turned out, and in this podcast we review our work with this mapping service... and with maps in general. What is our purpose and what tools would fit best for what we are trying to do? We are activist teachers willing to take risks and bring the best tools available to our students. We plan to continue discussing our use of maps -- retrospectively and prospectively. Do you use Google Maps? Let us know what you are doing. Perhaps you will put us on the right trail for bringing mapping into our social networks in ways that capture our students interest in maps and build our online communities. ­­


Have you had the opportunity to listen to the Virtual Staffroom podcast on using GIS and GPS with students? Inspiring stuff

http://www.virtualstaffroom.net/wordpress/    Episode 6

Karen Mann




Thanks. I'll listen. I've been pretty impressed with Tagzania of late. It seems like a tool that fits the elgg community. Students would make all sorts of different maps (although sound and video aren't part of the mix yet on this site)... just like they make a variety of blog posts. These get tagged, and/or we ask them to tag them in specific, unique ways (e.g. YouthVoices, places I love, literature... whatever) We can then cobble these tags together and make joint maps... using the tags. I like the way this allows for individual projects, that can later become community maps. 

You'll find  a few video tutorials at teachertube.com on google maps in the classroom.