Monday, 16 February 2009


Searching through my bookmarks for a site to help me with some inspirational lessons for Year 8 Japanese, I came across MapSkip. Although I had no recollection of actually bookmarking it, it seemed to be kind of what I was looking for.

What I was looking for was a site with maps that you could add placemarks and write content into the marker. Like google maps but more... On examination I found several reasons to like MapSkip:

  1. It's relatively easy to create student accounts - just remember to tick the box indicating you are a teacher when you sign up. Student accounts are created through your account and their email is not needed. Sounds good so far. It does look like creating the accounts may take a little time though.
  2. You can allow or block 'outsiders' from commenting on your student's stories. You can also filter the maps on the site so that you only see stories created by the teacher and students.
  3. Not only can you add pictures but also audio and video content.
So, it allows you to add placemarks to a map and write stories at that spot which can include audio, video and pictures. What's more (for me) is that it will accept the Japanese script.

The story I want my students to tell is of their assigned character. Perhaps get them to used their favourite stuffed toy as Langwitches has done with Jose the Travel Bear. Take pictures in various locations and then write the story in the target language, add narration in the target language or even video. Of course, this would be really good if you were going on an overseas trip. Take photos of the toy in famous spots (see above picture from our 2007 Japan trip), add video or even interview the locals in their language. Lots of possibilities but I think I'll try local first.

There seems to be a lot of potential here ... but I'll need to use the site a little more first.

Any ther ideas?


thomas said...

Hi ajep, I'm one of the founders of MapSkip and I wanted to thank you for your great review of MapSkip - I'm glad that you like our teacher features.

I'd be very interested to hear from you once you start using the site with your students since we've just added these features and we'd like to make the site as classroom-friendly as possible.

While MapSkip invites everybody to add to the map, the young students that have already started to use the site as part of their classes have added a great, fresh flavor to the stories.

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


ajep said...

Thanks Kaylee,

I hope you continue to enjoy reading it and that it is of some use.

Andrew J