I recently learned about a project called Find A Story, Tell A Story, Map A Story begun by Brenda Dyck, a Canadian professor. She’s encouraging teachers to create “place-based” stories using various map applications on the web (for example, having students talk about what they did in a neighborhood as a young child using map “markers”).
I’ve had students use these map applications to share about field trips we’ve taken, or to highlight areas in Geography class. You can find links to these map sites, and a student example, on my Examples of Student Work page under Student Maps.
However, Ms. Dyck’s ideas got me thinking about other ways to use these maps.
In the course of exploring her site, I also learned about another map application called Community Walk, which I’ve placed on the Student Maps section. This site, like many of the others, is very easy to use. But the most exciting thing to me was how easy it was to insert pictures into the maps you create. All you have to do is copy and paste the url of a picture (of course, preferably a Creative Commons one) and it appears.
I haven’t had a chance to check-out if the other map sites allow the same kind of insertion. And this may not be news to many of you reading this post. For all I know, this ability may have been out there for quite awhile. But it was certainly new to me, and having this kind of visual support on student-created maps will be helpful to English Language Learners.