While many skills have become obsolete in the digital age, map reading remains an important tool for building children’s spatial reasoning skills and helping them make sense of our world.
Young people need to develop a mental map of their environs and an over-reliance on GPS/mapping apps are no substitute. When these youth become drivers, they are unprepared to make spatially/navigational decisions because they lack map reading skills. They might think that their apps can do all the work and that an old fashioned paper map is outdated technology, but their spatial thinking skills become atrophied. Spatial skills are crucial for understanding the world as a global citizen, to understand your local environs and for making scientific discoveries. So teach a kid how to read a map…the sooner the better.