WCSS 2013 – A Dynamic Duo – Google Forms and Google Maps
Google Forms - A Versatile Method of Collecting and Distributing Information
Most teachers have been exposed to the variety of tools provided by the folks at Google, including Google docs and Google sites. However, many are still unfamiliar with Google Forms. According the company, “Google Forms are a useful tool to help you plan events, send a survey, give students a quiz, or collect other information in an easy, streamlined way.” They can be integrated into outside assignments, assessments, and collaborative work across class periods. Forms are very easy to make and manage, and hopefully these instructions will help you create a form or two..
The information yo receive through the forms can be compiled and used in class activities, such as …
CRM CRAMBO - To creatively process events of the Civil Rights Movement and compile a longer narrative of the era, paired students participated in a crambo – an age old battle of words and rhymes in order to explain the later years of the Movement. Their results were collected through Google forms and then easily published on a wikispace - Crambo 1 2 3 4 6.
CIVIL WAR PREVIEW AND REFLECTION - I always like to activate prior knowledge for the more popular topics in may class, and I have found Google forms to be an easy and effective method of doing so. By using a preview form, students can rate their current understanding and interest in a subject (in this case, the Civil War) and I can use the results in class to determine areas of interest. The post unit form not only provides great feedback for me, but it also allows students to look back at their own learning.
BIG CITY TWEETS - When learning about urbanization in the late 1800s, I had students imagine they were strolling through the new big cities and providing some short posts or “tweets” describing their experience. We then used their collected tweets in class to discuss some of the advancements of cities and have a few laughs.
SLAVERY TERMS COMPILED - As we studied antebellum slavery, students kept a list of terms, people, places, emotions, ideas, and whatever else came to mind about the topic of slaver. At the end of the study, students simply posted their long list of terms in a form. A quick compilation of the terms and pasting them into Tagxedo provided out class with a stunning collaborative visual for antebellum slavery.
THE COLD WAR HEATS UP – In order to process some of the major events at the beginning of the Cold War, students were divided into small groups and presented with a Cold War Tensionometer. For each of the key events detailed in their homework, they had to discuss how the event either led to rising or falling tensions in the Cold War. We used the results as a basis for the whole group discussion and had students make observations on the impact of some of the major events.
Looking for more ideas? Check out …
- 80 Ways To Use Google Forms In Your Classroom from Edudemic
- Innovative Ideas for Using Google Forms from followmolly.com
Google Maps - Much More Than Just Dots on a Map
What social studies teacher isn’t fascinated with Google Earth? It’s an incredibly powerful tool to show the impact of geography or zoom in on a historical site. Just to spin the earth with my hand makes me feel like Atlas (and then I tell kids who Atlas was). After playing around with Google Maps, trying to find directions to a few local spots, when I came across the “My Places” button. I made a quick interactive map of some nearby locations, saved it, and then found out it can be converted to a .kml file with one click. Once I was blind … now I can see! It only took a few minutes to devise what I felt could be a challenging, creative and engaging activity combining history, geography, and technology , and I am quite pleased with the results.
Dive in! If you need a guide, please try The Basics of Google Maps instructions – I hope it helps!
What can you do with Google Maps? How about …
- Develop teacher or student created road trips for historical topics, such as the Civil War, the Great Depression, the Civil Rights Movement, etc. I have much more information abut the “Road Trips” here, along with instructions and student examples.
- Put together a geography based historical timeline for just about any topic
- Make historical or modern day tours of cities, battlefield, or countries, similar to the Freedom Trail in Boston
- Present a “collection” of geographic features, such as archipelago, basin, peninsula, desert, delta, and more
- Produce an illustrated biography or creative story about an individual (real or fictitious)
- I’m still thinking … let me know if you have some ideas as well!
The Google Academy has a great Google Maps site with ideas and tutorials if you want some more directions. Teachinghistory.org also has a great overview of Google Maps in the classroom, as does edtechvoice.com.