What it is: ArcGIS Explorer Online is a neat mapping experience powered by BING that lets you use, create, and share ArcGIS (Global Information System) maps online. The online software lets you read and write ArcGIS maps that can be used with the website, ArcGIS for the iPhone, and ArcGIS desktop version. Mark up maps with notes that have photos, text, and links embedded directly in the map. Measure distances on the map and include them as a layer of the map. Create a presentation in the map that guides viewers from one location on the map to another.
How to integrate ArcGIS Explorer Online into your curriculum: ArcGIS Explorer is an impressive online mapping tool. Use it to create guided tours for your students that can be played on classroom computers as an independent learning system or on the interactive whiteboard as a whole class map tour. Embed links to informational websites, pictures relating to learning, and text to help guide your students through their journey. Do one better by asking your students to create a map where they layer information, pictures, measurements, etc. on a map. Students could create and swap tours of their home town with pen pals/blogging buddies around the world. Create historical maps by adding notes with primary sources, pictures, links to additional learning (or blog posts that your students have written), and text that indicates the importance of the place. Create literary maps by making note of key locations in literature that students are reading. Students can add a note to the map with a quote from the book or a description of what happened there. When they are finished reading, students can create a presentation/tour of the literature by creating a slide out of each place in the book. An interactive literary tour of learning beats a traditional book report hands down! ArcGIS would be a really neat way to plot a Flat Stanley project in the elementary classroom!
Tips: ArcGIS requires the Microsoft Silverlight plugin to work. You can download Silverlight for free directly from the ArcGIS website.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using ArcGIS in your classroom!