Coolest thing learned (so far) during LTMS600 aka Web2.0 in the Classroom: Google Mashups. I have previously used GoogleForms. However, being able to take the data and make it visual is so much more powerful. It was easy, which is always a selling point for a busy teacher. I created the form while the teacher was explaining the assignment. Later I was able to embed the form for students to fill out as well as the map showing their responses through my wiki.
The map updates as they enter information. This is what the map currently looks like. I need to brush up on my code skills so that I can embed mashups directly in my blog … soon.
I want to have the students enter if they know anyone who speaks Spanish – friends of friends are ok. They would enter where the person is from and their first name. Each entry will create a dot on the map. If you hover over the dots on the live map, it will show the name. This will really help the students to connect.
I used to be surprised how many times students would have personal connections to the Spanish speaking world – relatives, friends of the family, friends, etc. However, I am not surprised anymore. The dynamics of friendship are changing. With all the social networking it is possible to be friends with people around the world. This will help us track who we know and where.