Good use of an IWB: a map of our internet

Unfinished example produced in class using the interactive whiteboard

Here's just an idea, rather than a complete lession plan, which originally came from Terry Freedman's excellent Educational Technology site. Terry suggested using a map of the internet for discussion but I thought it might be interesting to see if we could actually create our own maps.

A rough outline of the idea, which I tried out in a session with trainees currently taking their CELTA course at IH Barcelona:

  • Divide learners into groups of 3 or 4, each to include a doodler
  • In groups, brainstorm list of places they go on the Internet (inc. use of mobile devices); some (though not necessarily all) should be places they ALL go
  • Take a quick look at an example map (see link, above)
  • Turn the list into their "map of the internet" (a job for the doodler!)
  • Share the finished map with rest of the class (blog, Edmodo, wiki…)
  • Get "comments" from the rest of the class (is the map interesting…? exotic…? surprising…? artistic…?)
  • General discussion (online and/or face-to-face in class)

In the session, one group used the interactive whiteboard (IWB) to produce theirs (shown above), while the rest used pen and paper; and the IWB group then gave a brief presentation of what they'd (so far) produced.

Time allowing, we could have agreed on other "places" the other groups would want to incorporate into the IWB map, so that we'd finish up with a single map, rather than a separate one for each group.

What do you think…? Is it a good starting point for a lesson, and is it good use of an interactive whiteboard?

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  1. Hi, Tom.Thanks for kind words!
    I really like your idea. It strikes me that getting the students to draw their own internet maps would help to show up how they see the internet, ie what is connected to what, and what is most important, and perhaps even their understanding or misunderstanding of the internet. Brilliant idea! Thanks.

  2. Thank you, Terry.

    The idea did seem to go down quite well in the group I tried it on.

    What perhaps was quite important was ensuring there was a "doodler" in each group, who'd take responsibility for drawing the map, something which I did by getting everyone there to write a name tag for themselves and then drawing a pig on it… my thinking being that the most artistic pigs are drawn by the doodlers 🙂 !

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