Have you ever wanted to draw a spot on a map without permanently marking it? To be able to point out a specific place, or route, without ruining an expensive map that you’ll want to use for something different in the future? Well then Scribble Maps is the tool for you! This awesome tool allows you to not only draw on and annotate maps, but also save, print and download your maps onto your computer. These maps can even be embedded onto class websites or wikis.
I first came across Scribble Maps on Richard Byrne’s blog Free Technology For Teachers. In his blog post Scribble Maps – Easily Type and Draw on Google Maps, he provides a variety of uses of Scribble Maps in the classroom stating this tool “could be a good resource for teachers of geography, history or current events.” It could also be used in literature, mapping, or many other fun and creative ways.
Scribble Maps is free and user-friendly, providing a tool that students will use with ease. It is possible to create a map without even creating an account; however, there are more features in the tool box if you create an account (and it’s still free!) Let’s create a map! Once on Scribble Maps, in order to create your first map you press the button Create Map in the top left hand corner. It will bring you to a screen that looks like thisThe tool box in the middle gives links to video tutorials, recent maps and other helpful aspects of the website that you can explore which will help you become more familiar with it. After closing that toolbar, you can type the location into the search bar on the top. Scribble Maps is run using Google Maps, which creates an advantage for many students who will be familiar with the layout and already know how to find a location or look up directions.
After finding a specified location, students can add markers, lines, shapes, or even import photos onto their map. Using the top tool bar, it is easy to find and place things on the map, playing with different colors, shapes or objects. Adding markers is very simple. Richard Byrne suggests students could use this to show important historical sites, create a timeline of western expansion, or even places that are important to them or important to their town. On the map below, markers illustrate important places in my day. Titles and descriptions also shows up in the right hand side of the page, making it easier to view and locate your markers.
Another feature of Scribble Maps is the ability to draw lines: straight, scribbled or connected. After placing the markers, I connected them with lines showing where I go throughout my day. Again, these lines show up in the right hand column. You can drag them to rearrange the order on the column and when you place your mouse over them, it highlights the line or marker on the map for easier viewing. A third tool you can use is text boxes. This will come in handy in the classroom because students will not only point out places, but also describe the importance of them or what they are trying to get across in their map.
Maps can be created using different views such as terrain, hybrid, satellite or regular maps, providing many uses in the classroom. The example on the left is a satellite map, giving students a much better idea of what the place looks like. The map below is a regular map.
It is also very easy to save your map, whether it is with or without an account. When you hit the menu button in the top right tool box, it gives you the option to save. It will ask you for an original Map ID and title of your map. It will then provide you with a hyperlink directly to the map and a hyperlink that will allow you to easily share your map. My map’s directory link will show you the map on the right through the Scribble Map website and my map’s direct link will allow you to interact with the map.
Don’t you want to avoid big bulky, pull-down maps that don’t even stay down half the time? This awesome tool is perfect for the classroom and can be used in so many different ways to help students learn and have fun. Here are a few links to other great ideas on how to incorporate Scribble Maps in the classroom and how Scribble Maps is affecting classrooms:
- Away With Colored Pencils! – Scibble Map lesson ideas from history to math
- Education and Teachnology – Scribble Maps – Scribble Map integration in elementary
- Scribble Maps and Google – Great ideas using Scribble Maps for K-8
- Google Lit Trips – The Greatest Road Trip Stories – Provide geographic context for literature K-12 and beyond!
- Placeopedia – Wikipedia and Google Maps – Connecting Wikipedia articles with their locations
What role will maps play in your classroom? Do you think Scribble Maps would be effective and engaging for learners? Feel free to share what you think about this tool and how you might use it in the future!