Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Google Map Skills

Google maps has a few great features that help in teaching map skills to students of all disabilities.  Google still is the best (in my opinion) for getting directions, but they have a great feature called My Maps, which you can use to create your own customized maps.

Head to http://maps.google.com and log into your Google account.  You'll see a link on the left side for "My Places", click and then select create new map.  You can then find the area you'd like to work in and start placing pins on the map.  A great feature is that you can change the look of any push pin after you place it.  Just click on the pin in the edit screen and you have a large assortment of map type symbols.  Many of these symbols are perfect for teaching how to read a map, and use a legend.  Once you've placed them all you can print the map and the legend will print too.

As you can see from the map above I customized mine to include places in our downtown, and we used the map to take a walking trip.  It was a great way to familiarize ourself with the area!  I even added a compass rose to the map after printing so that we could talk about directions while walking.  Really adds to the community experience.

- Patrick

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