Students love technology! Technology becoming more and more accessible with almost everyone using some form of technology everyday. Smartphone techonology, computers, and gaming consuls are fun, exciting and desirable for children and involving students with computer science in the classroom has never been easier. Using something that kids love is the easiest way to teach new topics and by using mappler the local and global environment comes to life in the classroom.  Interactive maps combined with science, social studients, geography and history helps to engage students with the material by making the subjects relevent and personal. Using geography, students can understand a holistic perspective of their community, state, country, and the global community. Interactive maps are a dynamic way to represent information by making the material exploratory instead of static. Kids are developing complex technology skill sets outside of the classroom and by bringing this type of program into classrooms allows for students to build on what they already know. GIS technology can also be used to build confidence to stay in school and to help plan the goals of higher education.


Mappler can be used in K-12 classrooms in a number of ways varying on the children’s age and skill set. There are three main ways teachers can use interactive maps:

1. Teachers can develop their own interactive Mappler sites to incorporate into the curriculum and use as a tool to teach and engage students in different materials.

2. Class projects: students can collaborate with each other to collect data and represent a common interest. These projects can be done in a day or as on going year-long projects.

3. Personal projects: each student can develop his or her own mappler site. Topics that are personally relevant to each student can be used as a tool for personal development in year or multi-year long assignments.


Community Mapping (K-12)

IMSOCIO – Franklin Township, NJ High School 

IMSOCIO is an interactive/community mapping initiative involving the students of the SOCIO (Scholars Organizing Culturally Innovative Opportunities) program at Franklin High School. SOCIO focuses on keeping students motivated and goal-oriented by providing resources such as tutoring, support, weekend activities and scholarships.

Train Station Access: Bike and Walk New Brunswick, NJ

Train Station Access integrates GIS technology to locate bicycle and pedestrian utilities in and around local transit stations

BioBlitz is a community mapping program for various high schools in Maryland.  The pilot event in May 2013 had students mapping various tree, mammal, insect, and bird species.  This was an excellent, hands-on way for students to learn about biodiversity.  Below are the maps from the event:

  • Birds Map  Variables include:  location, species, contact (saw/heard/both), number (single/pair/flock/unknown), activity (flying/perched/foraging/nesting/unknown), description, and a photo
  • Mammals Map  Variables include:  location, species, observed (animal/tracks/scat), habitat (field/edge/woods), classification (mammal/reptile/amphibian), description, and a photo
  • Insects Map  Variables include:  location, species, found (hidden/exposed), number of legs, number of body segments, wings (yes/no), usual transport mode (fly/walk/crawl/hop/unknown), description, and a photo
  • Trees Map  Variables include:  location, species, appears healthy (yes/no), circumference at chest, evidence of nesting, nuts/berries/fruit present (yes/no), description, and a photo

Water Monitoring

Stream Camp, NJ
This interactive map provides a fun and easy way for users to learn about DeKorte Park

Community Assets

GIS4Kids Webportal
GIS4Kids offers several effective and easy-to-use interactive mapping applications for the classroom
Garfield F.U.N
A project created to help lower the childhood obesity rate in Garfield, NJ by hosting events, offering health and nutrition counseling, and learning more about the problem through the use of interactive maps.
Los Angeles School District (LAUSD)

LAUSD has initiated a series of projects that incorporate Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, technology and community participation to form interactive online maps. These maps reflect local resources and issues that concern the students.  This multifaceted initiative will reach out to students of various ages on multiple levels.

Invasive Plants

Invasion of Japanese Knotweed in the Lamprey River Watershed
Mapping of Invasive Plants done with smartphones. 

Oral History