Breakout session A:
Using geographic information systems as an active learning tool

Breakout session A:
Using geographic information systems as an active learning tool

Saturday, November 22, 2003
10:30 - 11:45 am

Presenter:
Ann Johnson, Education Solutions Manager- Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)

The complex social, economic, political, and environmental problems of today all exist within a spatial context. A geographic information system (GIS) using the latest computer and information technology concepts in an actively learning environment can be key to understanding and finding solutions to these complex problems. GIS is also proving to be an integrative technology tool for use in the classroom. With GIS, educators can combine principles from math, science and technology in an active learning environment to allow students to learn with real-world problems and datasets. This combination has excited students and helped create an environment conducive to increasing critical thinking and problem solving skills. This premise was the basis for the recent, highly successful National Science Foundation (NSF) GIS Access grant for which the author was a Co-PI. More than 100 educators participated in this grant for three summers. Instructors attendedintense two week Institutes over two summers using Active Learning pedagogy not only to learn GIS, but also to create modules or exercises for use in their particular discipline.