Monday, February 8, 2016

Designing a Structured and Interactive Learning Environment Based on GIS for Secondary Geography Education

GIS can be useful in a number of different ways, collecting, storing, exploring and using geographic data; developing, and presenting geographic concepts;  making, using, and interpreting maps; investigating geographic issues and solving problems.This article reviews the current status of GIS use in schools, the benefits of using GIS information for exploration in everyday learning and the construction of knowledge GIS creates. In the past, not many GIS software packages were specifically designed for school education, however with greater mapping development and GIS tools, more and more schools are able to use this software as an educational tool for teaching and learning activities (typically World Explorer as shown in the map below).

The use of GIS in a classroom setting can change the way students gather and analyze geographic information. School education has also been progressing into more of a hands on and inquiry based learning rather than all lecture. This puts an emphasis on constructivism, which emphasizes problem solving and inquiry-based learning rather than instructional sequences for learning of certain content skills. GIS is used for geographic data analysis, exploration, and visualization which has made it perfect for constructive learning. By organizing data found by using GIS processes, students are able to connect to themes in the syllabus content, and apply geographic skills. So as GIS software and supporting hardware become more readily available at affordable prices, all levels of GIS applications for education continue to expand. creating a more constructive learning environment.  

Suxia, L., & Xuan, Z. (2008). Designing a Structured and Interactive Learning Environment Based on GIS for Secondary Geography Education. Journal Of Geography107(1), 12-19. doi:10.1080/00221340801944425

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  1. I really like the fact that GIS programs would someday be implemented in the classroom. Now in college we actually have a course dedicated to learning about this, but implementing GIS to a Geography course in high school would create a more hands-on experience and possibly better learning outcomes.

    1. There has been some effort from ESRI to get more k-12 use of GIS, but I think that easy to use platforms like ArcGIS Earth or Google Earth gives a real opportunity to bring GIS to k-12