GIS Day!Saturday, November 22, 2014
Wednesday, November 19th was Geographic Information Systems Day! I was lucky enough to have two local experts come introduce and celebrate GIS Day with my 4th and 5th grade students. Let me tell you . . . it was amazing!
Our presenters shared a series of short videos about maps, including their history, uses, and global applications. Students learned that maps not only provide information about our geographic location, but also about our climate, economy, and humanitarian needs and efforts - just to name a few. Below are links to the videos shared. Each one is under 4 minutes and totally worth watching!
- What is GIS?
- Dr. Richard Alley - Using GIS to teach the world about Global Warming & Climate Change
- Geospatial Revolution - Food Deserts
Then students were given guidance to explore maps using an interactive tool designed by National Geographic. You can check it out here! This website is a PBL project waiting to happen! My wheels are definitely turning . . .
Using GIS, students were asked to make a map. They could select from the a series of choices or design their own challenge. Students explored everything from Carbon Dioxide production to global electricity use to trends in food consumption.
It was an eye opening experience for the students (and their teacher)! The visual power of GIS is astounding, on a personal, local, and global level!
I think this tool has great potential for classroom learning. For those of you who are already implementing interactive mapping in the classroom, how do you use it with your students? What works best for you and your class? I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas!