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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Fostering Critical and Spatial Thinking Through Geotechnology Education

#Twitter: 
#blended
Presenter(s)
Joseph Kerski (Esri, USA)
Session Information
July 7, 2015 - 4:30pm
Track: 
Teaching & Learning Effectiveness
Institutional Level: 
Multiple
Audience Level: 
All
Session Type: 
Information Session
Location: 
Plaza Court 7
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Session: 
Concurrent Session 3
Abstract

How can critical thinking, inquiry, and spatial thinking be fostered through the use of web mapping geotechnologies in blended learning environments? Join educator and geographer Joseph Kerski as we investigate why and how to meet educational objectives and engage students in investigating key issues of the 21st Century, including natural hazards, population change, energy, water, natural resources, sustainable agriculture, invasive species, climate and weather, and more, using dynamic web based mapping tools. 

Extended Abstract

How can critical thinking, inquiry, and spatial thinking be fostered through the use of web mapping geotechnologies in blended learning environments? Join educator and geographer Joseph Kerski as we investigate why and how to meet educational objectives and engage students in investigating key issues of the 21st Century, including natural hazards, population change, energy, water, natural resources, sustainable agriculture, invasive species, climate and weather, and more, using dynamic web based mapping tools. These tools form the geotechnologies—cloud-based mapping, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), GPS, and remote sensing. These tools offer the ability to investigate real-world phenomena from local to global scale using cloud based mapping services offered in a Software-as-a-Service model. Tools such as ArcGIS Online operate as a platform, hosting mapping services from organizations ranging from the World Health Organization, the UN Environment Programme, and the World Bank, to your state and local department of natural resources. Tools include the ability to create, classify, and symbolize an infinite variety of maps, as well as generate spatial statistics and other derived products, as well as to share those maps in web pages, presentations, and as multimedia storymaps. Issues that can be addressed include the examination of the recent earthquake in Nepal, political unrest in Syria, demographic variability among neighborhoods and regions, and patterns of water and land use on the American Great Plains. Through these tools, students can map and analyze their own field-collected data as well via smartphones and dynamic web maps, and also do so in citizen science mode on a variety of devices. Students who are well grounded in the spatial perspective through geotechnologies are better able, during school and after graduation, to use data at a variety of scales, in a variety of contexts, think systematically and holistically, use quantitative and qualitative approaches to solve problems. In short, these graduates are better decision makers. Joseph will share lessons learned and results from teaching web mapping courses via MOOCs and through OLC. Participants will also learn about the career connections and opportunities through this presentation.

Lead Presenter

Joseph Kerski serves as Education Manager for Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri). He served for 21 years as Geographer at the USGS and at the US Census Bureau. He teaches GIS at the University of Denver, other universities, in K-12 schools, and in online courses, including MOOCs. Joseph holds three degrees in Geography. Passionate about spatial learning, Joseph fosters educational partnerships, promotes GIS in education and society through service and scholarship, and conducts courses on geotechnology in education internationally. He creates GIS-based curricula and conducts research in the effectiveness and implementation of GIS in education.