Google My Maps has Serious Educational Potential

I am absolutely mad about Google MyMaps. Check out the collectively authored map my YouthLAB groups did in Chicago and Barbados at! They researched the slave routes, the Barbados youth located the African countries and regions where their ancestors came from and placemarked those. They even added in diary journal entries from enslaved passengers across the Middle Passage.

Then they incorporated their own family migrations, located their neighborhoods, embedded photos and videos they made and mapped out future travel dreams.

Even though youthLAB is over they can add to the map whenever they want.

Now one of the youth who learned this tool had the idea to create a map of environmental racism - showing how toxics are disproportionately located in low income communities of color. Open Youth Networks (my organization) is training the youth groups there how to overlay their GIS data into Google Earth maps while creating multimedia map mashups of their community assets and toxins tours. My head is spinning with so many applications for this tool.

The tool is so cool and motivating to use, I see students becoming avid researchers.

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