Waze for Smart Phones: The Wisdom of the Crowd for Driving

Waze provides “real-time maps and traffic information based on the wisdom of the crowd.”

Here are a few items of note from the Waze website. (Source)

  • At waze, our vision is to work in cooperation with drivers worldwide to create the world’s first live driving map, providing users with the real-time road intelligence they need for better everyday driving.
  • Waze is a social mobile application providing free turn-by-turn navigation based on the live conditions of the road. 100% powered by users, the more you drive, the better it gets. Join the community of drivers in your area today!
  • Waze is a social mobile application that enables drivers to build and use real-time road intelligence. The service includes constantly-updated road maps, alerts on traffic and accidents, and data providing users with the fastest route to get to wherever they need to go.

(Hat Tip to Wes Fryer for bringing Waze to my attention.)

Educational Uses

Waze could be integrated with geography, driver’s education, and social studies.

Data generated by Waze (collected from the live maps) could be used in math and science classrooms.

Please share additional educational uses in the comments.

Playdough Land Formations

Our oldest son’s class used Playdough to model the land formations about which they have been learning. He loved this hands-on project! Here’s a quick tour of the geographic landscape that he created (via iPhone video).

Educational Connections
Here are some quick thoughts regarding this activity.

  • Our son said everyone in the class really had fun with this project.
  • This is an inexpensive way to encourage kinesthetic learning.
  • An activity like this could potentially move beyond knowledge and comprehension and into some of the higher-order thinking skills such as application.
  • I’m predicting that the students are more likely to retain this information as a result of the hands-on application.
  • You don’t always have to teach with technology. As I always say, “It’s not about the technology. It’s about the learning.”

Google Earth in the Classroom

Tom Barrett developed the below presentation. It is full of strategies and tips for effectively integrating Google Earth with teaching and learning.