Teacher Review for National Geographic Education: Maps

MapMaker Interactive is powerful and easy to use

Melissa P.
Media specialist/librarian
Currey Ingram Academy (Brentwood, TN)
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My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Knowledge gain
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
How I Use It
National Geographic has been known for their maps for decades and this online educational tool is the best I've seen. My favorite feature is the MapMaker Interactive. Anyone can create a map with custom layers, labels, and interactive links. I used MapMaker Interactive to create a "GeoTour" of explorers and colonies. I embedded images and web links into the map, then shared the URL with my students. I have done something similar with Google Maps, but I liked this tool better. Without having to create an account, students can create their own maps to share with each other or submit as an assignment. There are a wide variety of layers including population, climate, environmental, cultural, and political data. Therefore, this is a great tool for almost every subject area. Maps expire after six months of inactivity, which is generally fine, unless a teacher plans to use the same map once a year. There is no way permanently save an interactive map.
My Take
I really like the NatGeo Map website, especially the MapMaker Interactive tool. There are great video tutorials to help you get started. This website can be a good teacher tool at any level, but for student-centered activities, I recommend grades 6 and up.