Google Maps is one of the go-to applications that is part of my everyday life. It seems like I’m always pulling up Google Maps on my computer or my iPhone to find directions to a school, a restaurant or some far-off destination. In classroom settings, however, I haven’t used Google Maps that often. Sure, I’ve used ZeeMaps (which interfaces with Google Maps) to create a wiki map for students to share information across a class. I like using sites like ZeeMaps because the map evolves through collaborative student work. While a map created in ZeeMaps grows with student involvement, the end product is still a static map. A visitor can see the additions made by students but miss the evolutionary nature of the map itself.
Animaps, however, lets users create an animated map with markers that move, images and text that pop up on cue, and lines and shapes that change over time. Animaps can be shared with others where all of the animations can be watched like a video. Visitors can play, pause, slow and speed up the action. With Animaps, the map takes life and viewers can watch the action.
In a classroom setting, an educator could use Animaps to describe some historical battle to share with students. A science teacher could use Animaps to discuss the movement of landforms or the migration of animals. Beyond instruction, an educator could also use Animaps as an assessment tool where students create Animaps to discuss the events in a book or to show how different political events shaped history. Think of Animaps as a platform which draws on student creativity and can be integrated in almost any content area.
Be sure to check out the Animaps tutorial below: