Today at KU Edwards Campus I attended the “GIS in the Classroom” workshop, part of April’s PD opportunities provided the KU Center for STEM Learning (under who the UKanTeach program can be found). Skipping right to the chase, you can find my notes, ideas, and instructions for using GIS in the classroom here. Most of what I have to say about the workshop can be found there so I’m not going to re-hash much here, in fact I would enjoy comments on KABT as well as within the document, especially ideas on how to engage students in projects involving GIS, which is what part of the workshop was dedicated to. The other main focus was showing how student devices (smartphones and tablets) can be used to do this, no sophisticated GPS systems needed (although they definitely can be used).
I think for biology the primary opportunity this allows for is field sampling. The ways it could be used in the field is pretty vast, not limited to creating trails, collecting probe data, mark and recapture, basic sampling, etc. Obviously the benefit here is quick data collection that is forwarded to a central data sheet (CSV file) that is live and can be uploaded straight to many types of maps for data visualization. In the workshop today we recorded various life stages of dandelions in mowed and unmowed regions of Edwards Campus and uploaded and manipulated that data on a map.
So with that, what does everyone else think? What type of capacity do we visualize students using the technology (even outside of field studies)?