Building your e-Portfolio with Google Maps? Yes!

It was during a session at the Google Geo Teachers Institute where Sean Askey, creator of Google’s Tour Builder, where I had an epiphany. We were tasked with creating a practice tour with Google Tour Builder. At the time, I thought I’d make one about my road to Googleness.

But, as I was creating my tour – chronicling my road from a high school English teacher at Hallsville High School to a tech director to an instructional technologist, I thought: why does this just have to be my journey? Both literally and figuratively, the Google Tour Builder is a map of a story, a map of a particular location’s historical changes, and even a map of a person’s life. In other words it is a tour of where they have have been, what they have done, and where they are going.

Typically, I see ePortfolios as Websites. I am still a big supporter of Websites, but do ePortfolios all have to be the same? For those students who are spacial thinkers or who have been on that journey, a Google Tour may be the perfect solution.

To access Tour Builder, students only need a Google account (this is not part of the Google Apps for Edu suite). From there, they can build tours. At each location, they can add links (think about links to audio using Vocaroo, or links to Google docs & other Google products, links to videos, and more!). They can also easily browse for images and videos to upload. They can turn on historical imagery, overlay Google Earth files, and more.

So, are you ready to get started on your tour?!

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