Thursday, November 27, 2014


Paul Driver came to the Digital ELT Ireland conference in 2012 and 2013. He's ELT, media and illustration and is a member of our little ELT Makers group on LinkedIn and has made a book called Language Learning with Digital Video with Ben Goldstein. (Sorry I had that misspelled for a year, Ben. Say something next time.)

Paul's talks were fun. He used big words. He talked about theory and design. Things nearly prohibited in conversations around the photocopier. He encouraged teachers to take their students outside and showed you how mobiles can enable that. His Spywalk and Invasion games were elaborate, inventive and showed all the good attributes of thoughtful, clever ELT. Two items made them possible easy: mobiles and maps.
  • Mobiles made the work your students' do out of earshot (or out of your line of sight) useable. They record video and audio and location, location using Glympse
  • Maps were the other bit and GoogleMaps allows us to tie data to maps to make relevant, updatable, shareable resources which can store the video and audio collected.
A teacher from ATC and from Dorset College and I started meeting to put together our own map for a game between students from our schools. It unfortunately came to naught as Christmas hit us and then a big summer. But the idea stayed and so did our map.

That was how I started messing with GoogleMaps. That's my story.


This year has seen the close of the Laser Video shops (Significant because they are marked in as 'rain bases' our map), but it has also seen the close of half a dozen ELTOs (that's English Language Teaching Organizations) in the city, Eden being the biggest and most connected to the UK.

Folks in ELT know that new changes coming down from QQI on 1 January mean ELTOs that are not recognized by ACELS may not be able to advertise their courses abroad through the Internationalisation Register. There is still a lot of quiet back room wrangling happening. 

I know, I know: this is business. It's not our business, but English Language Teachers generally don't know how many and which schools are recognized by ACELS. 

So I made another map: ELTOs Dublin 

I pulled the data from the websites of three bodies that recognize ELTOs and put them into a spreadsheet uploaded the spreadsheets to GoogleMaps voilà! -much more easily accessible data about the schools in Dublin. 

You should try to work for a school with the most recognition. 

But wherever you are, make stuff that is useful for you, your learners, your colleagues and your school.

See next post for an idea on how to use GoogleMaps for your class.
*At the request of a fan of the ELTOs Dublin Map, I've set the map as 'Public'. This allows me to get a bit of code to embed my map into this blog or allow others to do the same. 

Here's what that looks like:

<iframe src="" width="512" height="384"></iframe>

-and below is the result:

There was an odd little problem on my 'largish' computer screen. See the screen shot below:

You see how the right edge sticks out of the black text area and hangs over the background. It won't matter if you view on a phone but it's a bit messy on my computer screen. Look up at that code again. You see the 'width' and 'height' dimensions? I clicked over to the HTML view in blogger and changed the original embed dimensions of 640 and 480 to the ones you see above (512x384). Why those numbers- I searched for 4:3 aspect ratio.  I found this and used the next smallest digits (512x384) and updated the entry. I got this:

Better. Not perfect but better.

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