In his blog, Free Technology for Teachers, Richard Byrne’s discusses new tools he finds that can be applied in the classroom for educators. In the post, MyReadingMapped – Interactive Maps of Historical Events and Patterns he discusses how to use this tool to teach and learn using interactive maps. Rather than reading about important historical battles and events from a textbook, MyReadingMapped explains these events through interactive maps. These maps are created in the hopes of inspiring students to learn and explore in different ways. With the help of Google Maps and Google Earth, these maps are able to be created with immense detail and be viewed in many different ways.
It may be a little bit overwhelming at first, but do not worry, there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube on exactly how to use the maps.
According to the site’s creator, George Stiller, MyReadingMapped, “is an extensive compendium of documentaries in the form of interactive Google Maps on Historic Events.” MyReadingMapped contains over 100 maps discussing historical events ranging from the travel of Alexander the Great to the battles of World War II, one of my personal favorites is the map that shows the world’s best zoos. Each location on the map is accompanied by an excerpt combined with details and anecdotes about the specific topic, in addition to a page reference or web link directing you to the source. The Explorer Maps come with a Google Earth KML file that allows viewers to digitally walk from location to location on a 3D map. Other KML files will allow you to walk around ancient ruins in 3D or see the inspiration of a landscape painting and the actual painting at the same time. However, a common viewing of a map would appear as it looks below.
These maps are not only great tools for educating students, but they are also a good tool to reinforce and further explain historical details. MyReadingMapped has a high MozTrust rating because it links to respected and trustworthy sites such as, the Smithsonian libraries, Harvard University, and the National Parks Service. MyReadingMapped gives the students a general background of topics in history, it is a good base point. Other excerpts come from eBooks, which are indicated by a book symbol. Either for gathering general knowledge, looking for more resources, or studying for a test, this is a useful tool for students to succeed.
As future teachers, we should all constantly be on the lookout for new ways to inspire and encourage our students to learn differently. MyReadingMapped is an incredibly different and innovative way to learn history from all eras. As a future history teacher, I am extremely excited to have come across this tool. It is versatile because it can be used for all subjects of history throughout time. One reason I really like this tool, is because I see myself using it as teacher and as a student.
George Stiller created MyReadingMapped “to assist students with metacognition, the ability to learn, by providing educators with stimulating tools that enable students of all ages to internalize the procedures, organization, and structures necessary to learn by example.” After only two and a half years of use, many teachers have used this tool in the classroom. He even provides a list of teachers that use MyReadingMapped. Educators all across America have embedded these maps into their own personal websites at school, thus making them known and available to students everywhere. One school, Dowel Middle School, embedded a map of the American Revolution, giving the students direct access to the map. This resulted in 850 views from students because it was so simple to view and use. The maps you see throughout my post are also embedded, meaning they are interactive and fully functional.
The best way to learn about MyReadingMapped would be through going to the website and using the maps. The options for maps ranges from ancient explorers to current topics like the U.S. government shutdown. The topics of maps vary widely, ranging from science, like climate change to social studies. Use the map embedded below to get an idea of how MyReadingMapped works. This map displays the Rise, Fall and Migration of Civilization due to Climate Change. You can use the mouse to move the map around, click on the different locations to read more about the climate changes, and see the trends around the world.
Because MyReadingMapped is getting more and more coverage and publicity as time goes on, it will hopefully become a frequently used classroom tool. I see myself using it in class as a way to teach my students, as well as encouraging them to use it in reviewing material, or exploring more on their own. As of my most recent visit, MyReadingMapped had 171,673 views!
Have you ever used a tool like this in class? Do you think it would benefit students who don’t necessarily enjoy reading from textbooks? Let me know what you think of this tool!
- Google Earth Blog– blog about cool and interesting things being done with Google Maps, including MyReadingMapped, this one in particular talks about the MyReadingMapped about the Trayvon Martin case
- Carol LaRow: Educational Technology Consultant– provides a lesson for teachers on how to use MyReadingMapped in the classroom
- History Tech– a blog by Glenn Wiebe, another consultant, and former history teacher who offers tips and advice for current teachers using technology concerning MyReadingMapped