This article helps secondary teachers use online maps about the COVID-19 pandemic to develop students' critical map literacy and digital geographic information literacy while helping students analyze the pandemic and its impact on society. The purpose of this paper is to discuss unique features of online maps, suggest six questions to bring to online maps, and provide an activity and resources to develop students' skill in using these maps.
For social studies teachers, online interactive maps create opportunities as well as challenges. They can be more engaging and interesting than static maps. They also show the relevance of key themes in geography as well as the power of maps to convey information. Maps about COVID-19 are used to explore themes in geography.
Interpreting COVID-19 online maps can help students learn about the pandemic, evaluate the decisions of health officials and elected leaders, and thus develop tools to participate in society as active citizens.
Young people and adults are often more engaged by interactive online sources; however, online maps require teachers to develop new approaches to teaching basic and critical map literacy that include elements of digital geographic information literacy. Students can learn to ask questions of maps while learning about COVID-19.
Marcus, A.S. and Levine, T.H. (2021), "Mapping the pandemic: teaching critical map literacy with interactive COVID-19 maps", Social Studies Research and Practice, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 115-125. https://doi.org/10.1108/SSRP-08-2021-0021
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