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#EdPins: Repurposing Google Maps to Connect Every School on Earth!

By Dale Plotzki
#EdPins: Repurposing Google Maps to Connect Every School on Earth!

A new Google Innovator project called ‘#EdPins’ is gearing up for back-to-school season. Created by Canadian international educator Dale Plotzki, #EdPins is a new way for schools and teachers to connect online by repurposing Google Maps entries of schools. The project has already had 80 schools from around the globe participate, but this school year it is setting a lofty goal to top 1000 participating schools! How does #EdPins work? Like every business or landmark on Google Maps, schools have ‘review’ cards. These review cards have everything that teachers and schools need to collaborate; they are multimedia compatible, easily shareable, visible and often rack up thousands of views per month. #EdPins is using these cards to shift the conversation about learning in schools away from subjective, shallow complaints to objective, helpful billboards of learning! Here is an example of a #EdPins submission in action: Why do #EdPins submissions work? #EdPins submissions are a very unique and transformative way for schools and teachers to connect online. They offer several benefits over traditional teacher sharing platforms like websites, forums and twitter. #EdPins submissions are: Democratic: By using Google Maps, #EdPins shifts the power in conversations about learning; any teacher can share their work and the learning that happens in their school directly with the people who want to know more about it. Equitable: From the wealthiest private school to the poorest public school, all schools have the same representation and access on Google Maps. Visible: While not a social media platform in the traditional sense, Google Maps reviews of schools are seen by tens of thousands of viewers every month. Responsible: The current reviews of schools are usually not the most positive exemplars of responsible Digital Citizenship. Go have a look at what is currently being said about your school! #EdPins addresses this by showing that public online conversations about learning in schools can be respectful, helpful and positive! An exemplar that is desperately needed by our kids! Multilingual: These reviews are self-tanslating which means that the barriers of language and space are eased; all participants can share and be understood. Dynamic: Google Maps review cards allow users to attach photos, videos, links, contact information and are easily shareable; all of the necessary ingredients for effective online collaboration! How to participate? For educators to participate all you need to do is gather the relevant information about what makes your classroom, and the learning that happens within it, something special. Educators can highlight anything from a specific project, to a team or initiative, to the way they are cultivating a positive learning environment. Really, anything you want to share about the learning happening at your school. A typical submission is: 1-2 paragraphs in length 3-5 kid-safe photos and videos Submitted with a @gmail .edu email address Shared out on social media with the #EdPins hashtag Head to Twitter:

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