Google is truly international and nowhere was this more evident than in the session with Wendy Gorton and Fiona Grant. Not only did we have a Kiwi and an American facilitating the learning (made up, by the way, of Australians, Americans, Brits, Canadians, Indians and Malaysians - don't even ask me where thye were living) but we were using one of my favourite tools; Google Maps.
To start with though, Fiona showed us an incredible resource. Now make your self a cup of tea, settle in and be prepared to immerse yourself in some simply stunning source materials from history, beautifully curated at the Google Cultural Institute. As an historian, a geographer or just a member of the human race, this resource is simply stunning and worth immersing yourself and your kids in for hours on end. Don't believe me, just try it.
You have been able to make your own Places on Google maps for a good while but, sorry Google, it has always been really clunky. Well we were lucky enough to be in the place where Google Maps were born (yup Sydney office!) and to see the new, beta version of making your own Google maps collaboratively called MapsEngine. It is so easy to use and can be built using place markers, lines and polygons and (although to be honest I have not yet explored this) data from spreadsheets. Here is a map which I created which has a pin in Melbourne which is where I was when I wrote this post. If you want to have a go at putting a pin where you are when you are reading this and add your name that should demonstrate the collaborative power of this tool! Click on this link to edit!
A great session from Fiona and Wendy and a really powerful tool! Thanks :)