Google Treks

Have you ever wanted to use Google Earth to follow a Lit Trip, visit an area, or share information and the program is not installed?

Or tried to teach (or learn) place marking and other features of Google Earth and found the learning curve a bit steep?

Dr. Alice Christie suggests you explore an application of Google Maps she has coined and created (and trademarked) called Google Treks.                 Video

From her site:

Long-time educator, Dr. Alice Christie, coined the concept of GoogleTreks™ as an exciting approach to teaching and learning. Enabled by Web 2.0 tools, GoogleTreks™ allows teachers and students to synthesize information in one easy-to-use map that places text, pictures, audio files, video files, and much more in one central location. The photo above shows the group of teachers who created the original GoogleTreks™.See examples on her page.

GoogleTreks™ is organized by subject matter and grade level. Over time, as educators such as yourself, add GoogleTreks to the site, users can find GoogleTreks in Science, Matematics, Social Studies, language Arts, and other curricular areas. GoogleTreks are written for specific age groups: Primary, Elementary, Middle School, High School, and Higher Education.

From her page you can find applications across the subject areas, even examples of Google Treks created by students.

 This is an example of a map made by a middle schooler about the Olympic host cities. Each placemarker has a preview of the content that pops out when you click on the name or icon on the map.

Easy to use features I appreciated after playing with Google My Maps:

  • Open a Google Earth file into Maps and you can access those markers without running or having Google Earth
  • Maps are easily shared, just like most Google Apps and you can subscribe to the RSS feed to track changes
  • Embed video, pictures and more
  • Platform independent and runs nicely in Chrome
  • You can view your map in Google Earth too
  • View multiple maps at once (you could look at your entire class’ work without having to open each student’s work individually)
  • Dr. Christie’s tutorials

I can see great potential for student-created maps, especially a pairing of classrooms where students made maps for each other to share research.  Dr. Christie has included a rubric on her site that helps with assessment as well.

Enjoy!  & Thanks to Dr. Christie for this fun idea!


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