Using My Maps for Inquiry Projects

It seems the most popular programs used for inquiry project presentations are Google Slides, Microsoft PowerPoint, Prezi, Emaze and etc… Sometimes we overlook tools which may empower students to dive deeper into their research. One such tool is Google My Maps! Google My Maps may provide an arena for students to collaborate together as they create and share inquiry projects.

One of the beauties of using Google My Maps for creating inquiry projects is the sharing of information in one convenient place. This can be used by individual students for further exploration. Another reason why I like My Maps is it provides the student with authentic exploration tools. Thanks to the linking of Google Maps, images and 360 exploration authentic locations may be visited.

This paves a road for further travel and forming a deeper learning experience. What might “tip this lesson over the top” is including Google Expedition while using VR Glasses! Please Note if an Android compatible Chromebook is used the student may add links for Google Expeditions. This would open the expedition APP and let them explore 360 degree 2D experience for further inquiry investigation.

Student Summer Journaling Activity

Summer has arrived and school has let out. The learning and fun with Ed Tech devices doesn’t have to stop here. Why not keep the brainpower energized with a simple creative writing activity. This doesn’t take much time to do and could be a fun way to share a little part of yourself with the class.  This summer I’m attempting to keep a Google Map Journal for my favorite summer activities.  I can’t wait for September when a student or teacher asks, “So Ms. Drasby what did you do over the summer?”, and in response I’ll open my “My Map Summer Journal”.

I believe an activity such as this could be used as a community ice breaker or a learning experience filled with real facts. You might even want to add a personalized touch by creating custom markers. It is amazing to think a simple map program may present an opportunity to unlock doors for exploring core content areas.

Creating a Google My Map

Did you know Google My Map is located within your Google Drive? Please follow this steps to learn how to get started with Google My Map.

  • Sign into Google Drive
  • Click Blue New Button
  • Scroll Down & Click More
  • Scroll until you find My Maps

New My Maps

Once My Maps is open it is best practice to give it a Title

  • After the My Map has a title
  • Add a layer
  • Title the layer

Now your ready to drop a pin!

Create a Custom Pin

 

Why Use a Custom Pin?

  • It allows the student to personalize their project
  • Pins can easily help identify an activity
  • Enhances the map with a more personalized look
  • Allows the user to add content specific images as the pins

Ooo! Smashing Google Slides w/Poll Everywhere…

There I was designing a Google workshop about supporting SPED Students. In my workshops I like to include learning activities for both engagement and assessment reason. This was when I discovered the Poll Everywhere Extension for Google Slides. The Poll Everywhere extension transforms a Google Slide into several different group activities. In my workshop I’m going to tryout both the multiple choice polling activity and the cloud generator.

I found Poll Everywhere to be very easy to integrate and use with a Google Slide. One thing to note when installing the you must register for a Poll Everywhere account. As an Educator I chose the “Free” version, and am extremely happy! I like

Using Poll Everywhere w/Google Slides

Making Home-School Connection w/Google Calendar

Thanks once more to a teacher in the help forums who asked the following question: “How do I create a Google Calendar to share with parents via email?” Creating a Google calendar shared with parents is a very easy way to keep them updated about classroom events and homework. Using a Google Calendar in this way may eliminate some of the email flow into a teacher’s school inbox. One of the beauties of a Google Calendar is updates are shared with everyone immediately. All the parent or guardian has to do is check their Google Calendar on a regular basis to stay updated with classroom assignments and activities.

How to Create a Google Calendar

  • Type Calendar Name
  • Type Calendar Description
  • Add Parent’s Email Addresses

  • Click Create Calendar Button

NOTE: The new calendar is found under my calendars

new calenar

 

 

Collaborating with Imported Slides

In several recent teacher group chats I’ve heard, “Is there a way to limit individual slides to be restricted to one student for a collaborative slide deck?”  The teachers wanted to avoid the students from messing around with each others slides for a collaborative slide deck. Mind you collaboration works best when students access the same slide deck together at the same time in a synchronous manner.  However to avoid wasting of “Valuable Learning Time” it may not be a bad idea to introduce slide deck collaboration in small digestible steps. This is when the import feature in a slide deck becomes handy as the first step in preparing students for creating collaborative slides.

Importing Slides Into a Slide Presentation

  1. On your computer, open a presentation in Google Slides.
  2. At the top, click File and thenImport Slide.
  3. Double-click the presentation you want to use.
  4. Click the Slide you want to import.
  5. Hold Shift Key Down to import multiple slides.
  6. Click Import Slides.

import Slides this one

 

Creating Google Slide Progression Bar

Recently in the Google Doc’s Help Forum a user inquired about creating a progression bar. Up until now I never really thought about using progression bars in Slide Presentations.  Thanks to this question I now understand there are times when a student or teacher may want to include a progression bar.

What Does a Progression Bar Do?

  • It helps narrow down steps into small digestible chunks.
  • Maintains order of the directions steps
  • Provides a timeline
    • May be used for social studies
      • Example:
        • Timeline for Mayflower travels
        • Historic figure timeline (from birth to death)
    • May be used in Science
      • Examples:
        • Life Cycles:
          • Frog
          • Butterfly
          • Plant
        • Part of science lab writeup
          • Students take photos of lab steps
            • Place the photos on a Slide Progression
              • Explain what they see happen in photos
              • May use arrows to point out changes
    • Uses for Math
      • A way for students to share the steps used for solving an equation
      • Show small chunks of the steps used to solve a math word problem

How to Create a Progression Bar

Progression bars may be simple or as complex. It all depends upon the point the creator is trying to make. Following is an example of a simple three slide progression bar where footsteps were used as the progression line.

Please click here for the above template

Following is the steps for creating the template:
  1. Create a slide include a shape with a number
  2. Duplicate the slide, duplicate the shape w/number
  3. Move the second shape to a new location
  4. Repeat as often as you need to complete the timeline
  5. Publish the Slide to the web

Easy Google Slides T-Chart

Sometime we take simple tasks for granted. I was kind of surprised when asked how to create a T-Chart in a Google Slide. This is a very easy task when one uses a table to create the chart. Using a table makes the T-Chart very user friendly. All the student or teacher has to do is click within the chart to start typing. How much easier can it get?

Please Click Here for a Copy of the T-Chart Template