Integrating GIS and community mapping into secondary science education: a web GIS approach Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/d504rn38z

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  • Geographic information systems (GISs) offer a useful tool for educators to teach students about local and global communities in various subjects. GISs are increasingly being used in K-12 education, but that growth is hindered due to many teachers’ limited access to time or resources necessary to adequately learn a GIS software package such as ArcView. While many of the GIS datasets being used in schools are of global communities, experience shows that students are more motivated to learn when the data pertain to their local community. This paper offers one approach for teachers to more easily incorporate a GIS and community mapping into secondary science curriculum with minimal training through the use of a web GIS. Arc Internet Map Server (ArcIMS) was used to create the Tahoma Virtual Atlas, a physical geographic atlas covering King and Pierce Counties in Washington. Working with secondary science educators in the Tahoma School District to determine needs, data was compiled from various organizations in the Seattle/Tacoma area and published in an ArcIMS web site. One designated teacher will take on the maintenance of the site, which can be used from almost any Internet-accessible computer. The atlas will serve as a base that teachers and students will be able to build upon by acquiring or creating other datasets. By combining the Tahoma Virtual Atlas with science curriculum and hands-on fieldwork, students can learn about geographic and scientific issues in their community and in turn utilize that knowledge to better understand global issues.
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