Mapfaire is a free tool for quickly creating maps that contain simple placemarks. Using Mapfaire you can create a custom map that highlights places you specify. To use Mapfaire just sign in with your Google Account then name your map and start adding placemarks. To add a placemark all you need to do is enter a location then label your placemark. You can publish and edit your maps at any time.
Applications for Education
Mapfaire is not nearly as feature laden as Google Maps. But because it doesn't have as many features as Google Maps students should be able to get up and running with it much quicker than with Google Maps. You could have students create Mapfaire maps about all kinds of themes in history and or literature.