While many classrooms still have the pull-down or bulletin board-sized map of the world, increasingly these days we teach our students about the world using online mapping technology such as Google Earth.

But whose version of geography are we using?

Case in point, the Chinese government is not happy with the almost 10,000 web sites in that country which use “unapproved” maps.

Maps “…that make mistakes such as labeling Taiwan a ‘country’, wrongly drawing national boundaries, or omitting islands such as the South China Islands, Diaoyu Islands and Chiwei Island.”

So, will Google, the company whose motto is “Don’t be evil” adapt Earth to fit the Chinese version of the world, use the US version, or create multiple realities?

As the media focuses on China as the site of the 2008 Olympic Games, these interesting questions about censorship and more will be raised.

Hopefully, we will take some time from test prep to include our students in the discussion.