Using Google My Maps to Merge Past, Present and Future

In a few days I head to Barbados where my colleague Mela Berger and I will train eight youth how to use digital tools and web 2.0. The focus of the work they produce is the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade during the 200th anniversary of Britain's abolition.

Among many of the tools they will be learning, I am particularly excited about using Google My maps to trace the Middle Passage and other routes that brought slaves to Barbados and then on to other sites in the Caribbean, South America and Charleston. They will be able to search for photos and embed these into their maps and even write descriptions or reflections accompanying various points in the journey. Then the youth will create their own personal journey maps to overlay on tops of the slave routes. They can use digital cameras to document this process in the present or create migration maps of their families from the past. Lastly, they create placemarkers for their future lives - ten years down the road. They can, as Paulo Freire says, "dream inside history."

I wonder if any one else out there has experimented with My Maps and can offer advice, warnings, tips, etc.

You can see all of these projects develop as they are created online at www.youthlab.net beginning July 23.

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