Monday, January 13, 2014

Google Tour Builder: Donner Party Style

A few months ago, my friend Eric and I presented at the National Council for Social Studies National Conference in St. Louis.  Both of us being Google Certified Teachers, we decided to do a Google presentation geared towards social studies teachers and the Google apps that they could use in their classroom.  One of the AWESOME (& my personal favorite!) tools we presented about was Google Tour Builder.

Google Tour Builder is an awesome (& free!) web-based app which allows you to build a tour on a map.  Yes, Google Maps and Google Earth already have this feature...but have you ever tried to use it?  It's clunky and not easy to navigate.  Google really cleaned this up with Google Tour Builder: it is so incredibly easy to navigate and use!  Check out a sample tour here.

So I thought this tool would be PERFECT to use with our Manifest Destiny unit.  I challenged the students to create a tour for the Donner Party: mapping their route west and documenting (with photos and text) all that took place at the places they stopped.

I shared with them a doc (see below) with all of the requirements on it they'd be responsible for including in their tour.

I made a simple "how to" video for them on what they needed to do to get started on the tour builder.

Then they set out to create their own tours!  I am very impressed with how their tours turned out!  They are easy to navigate, easy to read, and follow the Donner Party's journey west in an easy to read format!  Check out a few examples below!  I can't wait to do more Google tours with them in the future!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your process! I am going to share this with my high school social studies teacher colleagues. I was trying to view the student example tours, but their permissions aren't set to view. This sounds like a great tool that I'm really looking forward to using .Thanks!


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