"If we teach today's students as we taught yesterday's, we rob them of tomorrow." --John Dewey

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Scribble Maps

Have you seen one of those "you know you're a teacher when  . . . " lists?  The statements are generally pretty funny, rather poignant, and remarkably true of most teachers I know.  (If you haven't seen a list of teacherisms, check out http://pinterest.com/jeanniepartin/you-know-you-are-a-teacher-when/ or http://www.adprima.com/teacherwit.htm and see if you don't find yourself chuckling.)

Here's my contribution to the list:  You know you're a teacher when many of your summer travel photos become not only a slideshow, but a history or geography or computer lesson for your students as well.  (Yes, I'm guilty.)

If you're planning a trip this summer, think about chronicling your trip on scribblemaps.com.  Whether you intend to share your comments, pics and flicks with family and friends, or your future students, Scribble Maps provides a fun and easy way to share the details of your travels.  Here's how to get started:

Go to http://scribblemaps.com and click on the green Create Map button in the upper left corner of the page.  (No account is needed, even though you'll want to save your map to the site.  You'll be given an access code when you save, that will enable you to get back to your map to view or edit.)

Use the search bar below the tools at the upper left of your screen to zoom in to a particular destination.  Add a place marker using the tool just to the right of the text tool.  You can add a title and description to the marker, and by clicking on Advanced Editing at the bottom of the box, you will access the tools you need to embed an image (via URL) or video (via YouTube) into the place marker.

Add a place marker for each stop on your journey, and use the line or shape tools to trace your route, add dates or comments, or whatever is needed to put your photos into context.

When you're finished working, save your map either by going to the Menu on the left side of the tool bar, or by clicking Get Widget/Embed.

The site will generate the map id, and you provide a title and description for your creation.  You can then share your map through Facebook or Google Maps, by emailing a link to your friends, or by embedding the scrollable, searchable map in your blog or wiki.

The next time you visit Scribble Maps, you will be able to continue work on your map by choosing Load from the main menu, and entering your map id.  Or, if you're using the same computer you used when saving your map, you can load it by choosing it from the Recent Maps menu you'll see when you are at the Scribble Maps home page.

So, fellow teachers, safe travels to all of you who will be hitting the road this summer.  Enjoy a well deserved break, but don't forget that come August (or September, or whenever you return to school) someone is sure to ask how you spent your summer.  Imagine how impressed they'll be when you share every detail that's suitable for sharing, complete with pics and flicks, on your very own Scribble Map.

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