Shaun L. , Technology coordinator
The ability to control the sequence that the viewer sees the content is what can make Google Tour Builder great. However, there is currently no way of working collaboratively on a Google Tour. Completed Tours are able to be viewed by anyone, but can only be edited by the person who made it. This makes it less than ideal for group work beyond pairs, where two students are using the same computer. For larger groups or the entire class working on the same map, Google My Maps would most likely be a better choice.
Tour Builder will feel familiar to anyone with experience with Google products like My Maps. A group of savvy 3rd or 4th graders could figure it out, but a class with little experience would obviously need more guidance for their first project, increasing the amount of time it takes to get started.
Google Tour Builder is also missing some helpful tools found in Google My Maps, such as the ability to draw lines and geometric shapes to calculate distances and area - a feature that many science and math teachers have used with their students.
Finally, it isn’t readily apparent how much more development Google is going to devote to Tour Builder. The addition of My Maps to the Google Suite suggests that it is here to stay. Google Tour Builder, still in beta, seems to have gone unchanged for years - though it is still a powerful and worthwhile tool. Ideally, Google My Maps would one day absorb Tour builder’s useful ability to create a tour and take advantage of Google Earth’s visual appeal. Then our students would have the best of both products in one spot.Read full review
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