Last Thursday I had the opportunity to share one of my passions with faculty and classmates at UBC as well as some practicing teachers. I got to share how I used ArcGIS Desktop in my practicum classroom to enhance my student’s learning. ArcGIS became a favorite in my classroom as a way to explore individual provinces. Not only did my students get to interact with their province they created unique and professional looking maps where they choose what mattered enough to be on the map and how they would display the information. Using GIS empowered my grade 4/5 students to make decisions and analyze what they were seeing on the screen using their higher level thinking skills as well as geographic thinking.
I really enjoyed getting to share my experience with other educators who are interested in technology. I wasn’t sure how my topic would be received by others as GIS is not a common topic and educational resources for GIS at the k-12 level are difficult to find. I did in preparing for the Expo find a series of resources that I will review and post my thoughts and how I would use them in my classroom. I also discovered that there are communities of educators in North America using GIS in their classrooms and programs and would like to participate in the discussion and learn more from them.
Look here to find pictures and video from ETS and the Ed-Tec Expo!
Some of my student’s maps
For more information about using GIS and getting started down load the PDF. GIS brochure