Sunday, March 2, 2014

Google Maps

Sixth grade students in Mrs. Conrad's science class, at the William Davies Middle School, used their Google Apps for Education account and the Google Maps app to complete an assignment called Duck Duck Go.  

In this assignment, the students used Google Maps to find the locations of where toy ducks washed ashore. The shipment of toy ducks started at Hong Kong, China and for some reason, the toy ducks were found washed ashore in different parts of the world in the early 1990's.  The task:  the students had to find the location's latitude and longitude coordinates and create a Google Map with these placemarks.

They discovered they needed to find the exact latitude and longitude coordinates of the locations first because when searching with whole numbers they were not able to find the correct location. For example, 57,168 is in Russia and 57.12514,168.251 is in the middle of the ocean.  

After we discovered this, the students needed to search for the city, state/county, right click on the placemark balloon, and select 'What's Here'.  This would provide them with the exact coordinates of the location.  

After they found the exact coordinates, they created a Google Map in their Google Apps for Education account.  I showed them the following features of this application:  
  • Name the map
  • Enter a map description
  • Search for the location using the exact coordinates
  • Add the location to the map. (placemark)
  • Customize the placemark icon
  • Insert a placemark title, description, and image
  • Navigate through the map using the zoom tools
  • Delete a placemark
  • Observe the placemark list
  • Delete the map
  • Navigate back to the map
Once I modeled the procedures on about 3 locations, the students were able to work independently to plot the rest of the locations.  Some students were even able to help others during the lesson.  

Before the lesson, I scanned the students on their prior knowledge about Google Maps.  Many only knew about using the direction feature on Google Maps. Some of the students knew about the street view feature, but really most of them did not know you can create customized maps. 

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