School Tools: Google Treks Puts Lesson On the Map

Free! GOOGLE TREKS is a comprehensive set of web 2.0 lessons built primarily on top of Google Maps. Created by Dr. Alice Christie and a core team of collaborators, Google Treks offers lessons in science, mathematics, social studies, language arts, art, music, and health-- all in the context of geographic locations. Curious about the history of famous earthquakes? There's a map for that. Need to convey the scope and complexity of the Underground Railroad? There's a map for that, too. Looking to demonstrate good accounting practices by planning a vacation? Yup, well you get the picture.

Google Apps for Education this is not-- Christie and co. have set out to create an entire ecosystem around Google's suite of free apps. Anyone, including students, is welcome to submit their own Trek for inclusion in the library. There's a detailed tutorial for creating and saving Treks, as well as a rubric that sets the baseline for acceptable quality.

What makes Google Treks truly amazing is the process by which its creators have adapted effective pedagogy for a digital medium. Regardless of product fit for your classroom needs, the format, rubric, and tutorial are each excellent examples for teachers looking to increase their web 2.0 savvy.

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