Saturday, December 15, 2012

Google Virtual Tours

In the past week, I looked at some tools and brainstormed possibilities for classroom integration together with graduating students. When it came to overview Google Maps, many wonderful ideas came out of our brainstorming sessions.
I am very interested in using the My Maps feature. I like how students can pin locations and embed their information and add pictures and YouTube videos. I like the idea of combining the use of Mymaps, Street View with screencasting and have students record virtual tours of their own maps. I particularly enjoy using ScreenOmatic for screecasting, and I really enjoy the latest feature of the tool, which allow for picture-in-picture screencasting using a webcam.
We also overviewed projects like Google Art, World Wonder and Google Lit Trip. The students were really enthusiastic and connected these projects with many of the skills covered by the ACTFL 21st Century Skills map, which I had previously distributed.
Overall I feel that Google Maps presents enourmous opportunities for language learning and teaching, and I am looking forward to piloting some ideas in Beginner French I in the Spring semester.

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