Ed Tech

Google Maps walking tours with Street View and Screencastify

Street View in Google Maps lets us see what life is like on the street all over the world and create more emotional connections to a place. Help students make something with that experience! Have them create a walking tour with Google Maps Street View and a screen recorder like Screencastify.

Think about a meaningful trip you’ve taken far from home. Maybe it was a vacation with family. Maybe it was a study abroad opportunity during college.

Regardless, when you got your feet on the ground in that location and took it all in, it probably changed your worldview — and your feelings about that location.

That kind of transformation is magical when it happens in class. The problem is that it’s hard to get that through textbooks and worksheets. It takes a more immersive, visual experience.

That’s where Google Maps Street View can help. Drag the little yellow “pegman” in the bottom right corner of Google Maps (on computers and Chromebooks) on the screen. It drops you down on the street and lets you look around in full panoramic glory. (Use the Street View app for iOS or Android for the same experience on mobile.)

Using Street View to explore is amazing by itself. Using it to create a video to demonstrate learning is even better!

Have students create virtual walking tours of locations all over the world using Google Maps Street View and a screencasting (screen recording) tool. They’re easy to create and don’t take much prep time — especially for you, the teacher!

My favorite screencasting tool for the classroom is Screencastify (screencastify.com) because it’s free and installs easily as a Google Chrome browser extension. Plus, it automatically saves files directly to Google Drive, where they can be quickly turned in to assignments in Google Classroom.

Other screencasting tools include Screencast-O-Matic and Snagit (as well as others you can certainly find with a search engine search).

Check out this tutorial video that walks you through how to create a virtual walking tour with Google Maps Street View and a screen recorder like Screencastify.

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