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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Just Add A Little GIS

I've been following an interesting discussion on a Linked In group.  The original question was "How can technology aid in student achievement? Or also, What is technology's role in education?" There have been some terrific thoughts shared from this great group of professionals (Technology Integration in Education...if you care to join the discussion) 
Here's my addition to the discussion: 
When you're deciding on using technology or any other tool to teach or enhance content.  As the experienced instructors, we must keep asking ourselves, "How will this way be better than the old way?"  The recipe that says "just add technology" doesn't make the most impact.  The right time to add technology is when student achievement and student understanding are drastically changed.


For example, I was teaching Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to my middle school 7th graders as part of the required English Language Arts course content.  Some other teachers were having their students search the Internet and write a report on Mark Twain or some aspect of the time period.  Other teachers would watch a movie from the Biography Channel on Twain's life.  Now both of those examples are adding technology, but the impact isn't much different on the students...you're just using a different vehicle to get there.  I had some experience using GIS(geographic information systems) and saw some potential in that technology really changing student perspective.  Let's face it, when they see an old book and hear that it's about slavery and a river...you might lose them...a bunch of dead authors and dusty books!  My experiment really paid off.  After having students use GIS to examine Twain's trip down the Mississippi River, slavery population maps of the time and look at a historic map that Twain might have used when piloting the riverboat, they were not only more interested, but began to see novel as we read it.  They made the connection between slavery and an old dusty book.  They could see how their state looked at that time.  They started to see Social Studies and Science in what we were studying in English class.  As I included GIS and other geospatial technologies along the way, their critical thinking and ultimately those pesky test scores went UP, really UP and that's a good case for using technology that you don't have to explain to anyone.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Water, Water Everywhere: Cross-Curricular Approaches to Studying Water


Happy GIS DAY!


Geography is never discipline-specific!  Even a theme like “fresh water” should not be narrowed just to the science community.  Embrace the cross-curricular ties that exist within your curriculum.  You don’t have to teach something new, just teach what you already do in a different way.  This type of integration has great powers to teach your students to think, a skill we often expect rather than teach.  Before you decide I’m crazy and reaching for my magic wand, let’s explore the possibilities.  Let’s analyze how studying water can connect with all four core curricular areas.  I have a real-world...already tried it...works great with real kids... example!

Here’s what happened...I was teaching 7th grade English on a middle school team of four teachers.  One afternoon we’re discussing upcoming classroom content.  As the math teacher starts sharing about her water project, the science teacher chimes in, “Hey, I could move things around and do pH studies then.  We can test their home water and compare with school water.”  Not to be left out, the social studies teacher and I start thinking too.  In short fashion, we created a team-wide water unit.  The results were fantastic.  Our students could see the connections across the curriculum, and it prompted them to think about similar connections in the future.  This collaboration led to many other collaborative projects among the four subjects.  The proof was in the test scores at the end of the year!

Math: statistics of home water use
Students collected data in their homes for a week on water usage. Then they used spreadsheet software to organize and calculate statistics.  Then the data was merged with the science data to be analyzed in GIS software.

Science: pH testing
Students collected samples of water around the school and from their homes.  They analyzed the water samples and drew conclusions.  Then the data was merged with the math data to be analyzed in GIS software (more on this below).

English: water art and literature
I had a collection of old calendar art.  I pulled every picture that had water in the art.  Students had to answer a series of questions about the art. Keeping within the confines of my school’s literature texts, students read “The Wreck of the Hesperus” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and “Hurricanes” by Patricia Lauber.  Then students had to relate the text to the art.  Which piece of art best illuminates these selections?  Explain.

What if you don’t have water literature in your curriculum or available art?  If you don’t have art on hand, utilize a resource like the Smithsonian.  Their art collection online is extensive! (http://americanart.si.edu/collections/search)  Just search by keyword “water.”
This lesson gives context to Walden Pond along with other English Language Arts topics: (http://edcommunity.esri.com/arclessons/lesson.cfm?id=540).   It’s part of a great educational resource by GIS leader Esri, the Education Community at Esri: http://edcommunity.esri.com.

Articles on water related to literature:


Social Studies: how water affects communities around the globe
Because her “location” of study from year to year changed, the social studies teacher focused on the importance of water to the area of the world – her students were studying.  One year that country was India.  The students looked at available fresh water resources and why people lived where they did. (See http://gisined.blogspot.com/2010/02/sketch-map-in-classroom-part-2-social.html) We even explored the cultural implications of the Ganges River in both Social Studies and English with a part-research, part-creative writing assignment, “Journey to the Ganges.”  (http://www.barbareeduke.com/downloads/downloads.htm)

Geography and GIS: visualizing our water resources
Students took the collected data from math and science class and merged it with census and zip-code data.  Then they performed analysis to determine where the best water was. What factors might influence water quality?  You could perform similar activities with some pre-crafted lesson plans at the National Center for Rural STEM Education Outreach-Geospatial Technology (http://www.isat.jmu.edu/stem/curriculum.html) – drinking water, aquifers and watersheds are just a few of the 14 lesson collection.  Whether you use a Mac or PC, AEJEE, My World GIS or ArcGIS 9, you can use these activities!  Another good online resource is National Atlas MapMaker (http://www.nationalatlas.gov).  Quick and easy internet mapping on any data that they keep at the National Atlas.
Remember to teach cross-curricular topics to your students with geography!  Use technology whenever it’s possible...it’s a language today’s teenagers understand well.  Students who are connected to their content in a purposeful way are more successful.  Help them discover that their world is connected in many ways.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

To Grandmother's House We Go, again

Do you remember that song?  My students just look at me like I’m crazy if I start singing it.  I was thinking about the world of the song’s creator vs. today’s world.  What elements of geography can we examine through the poem?  Where did the grandparents of this folks song live? 
In case you have no idea what song I’m referring to, here’s a couple of links to jog your memory.

So let’s think… ( I know, alert the media!)

The poem was written in 1844.  What did the US look like at the time? 

Here's a map of the United States and lands from 1845 at the David Rumsey Map Collection online: http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/s/qg19fj  You can play with the map here also.





This writer was passionate about ending slavery.  What did slavery look like at that time?  Here’s what Mark Twain’s world looked like. This is an informative, interactive map. http://atlas.lib.niu.edu/Website/twain/viewer.htm

The Virginia Experiment GIS Projects are excellent if you’d like to explore various history related topics:

You could create your own GIS map to look at agriculture, precipitation, forests and rivers!  You can use a full GIS program like ArcGIS or a virtual globe such as ArcGIS Explorer.  (These maps are available online at www.barbareeduke.com/downloads/downloads.htm)  

So based on your explorations, where was grandmother’s house?  Where is your grandmother’s house and how do you get there?  What would your song lyrics be?
Think about Thanksgiving from a new perspective!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Geography Collides with Poetry and Art

I love it when curricular lines are blurred especially with the use of geography!  Here's a great resource for any week but especially Geography Awareness Week.


"RIVER OF WORDS: http://www.riverofwords.org/  this site is a REALLY neat site is about “connecting kids to their watersheds and imaginations through poetry and art.”  


The “for educators” tab on the right contains some great resources, including a link to the “signals of spring” website that has lots of great activities designed to increase students’ awareness and ease with earth image data (http://www.signalsofspring.net/)."


From Dr. Meredith Marsh at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO...thanks for sharing!

Geography Humor

In honor of geography awareness week, I'm reposting a little humorous moment from YouTube.  Do you live somewhere that's difficult to explain?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGRKTkS7pW8

Getting Started with Geography Awareness Week

It’s Geography Awareness Week

Suggestions from Dr. Tom Baker at Esri: 

Theme: Freshwater

Learn about Mapping Freshwater at the GIS Ed Blog:

You can also watch Charlie Fitzpatrick’s previous webinar on the Community Atlas program, ArcGIS Explorer Online, and Freshwater at:

Don’t forget to check out ArcLessons.  Search for “Water” focused lessons for all learners:

You can also search for GIS in education case studies that relate to “Water”:
Be sure to see “Combining Math, Science, and GIS” at: http://edcommunity.esri.com/community/caseStudies/detail.cfm?id=3

And finally, there is a flotilla of water related content at ArcGIS.com – see:


Friday, November 05, 2010

Got Topos?

It's no secret that I like maps...but have you seen the new collection of topographic maps at National Atlas?  This is a fantastic teaching tool.  Especially if you need quick examples!  Just point your internet browser to http://www.nationalatlas.gov/100topos/index.html and select an area.  If you click one of the points on the map you can select specific features or look at different versions of that area.


Think of all the great ways you can use this tool!!!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Q & A: Global Geology and Topography

Question: 
My teachers are working on a geology project that they did last year with Texas and US geology maps. They had the students give real world examples of different landforms (volcanoes,  and where they existed in TX and the US. This year they are looking to expand it to world wide examples.
It's for fifth grade and the landforms they will be studying are: archipelagoes, caves, cliffs, deltas, deserts, dunes, islands, mountains, piedmonts, plains, plateaus, terraces, valleys and volcanoes.

Do you know of any resources students and teachers can use for this?

Answer: 
I like the Sketch-A-Map gadget at http://www.edgis.org/sketch for explorations.

and from my friend, Dr. Shannon White:

First thing that comes to mind is the National Atlas set of first 25 of the 100 topo maps about land forms – that is good for the US. http://www.nationalatlas.gov/100topos/index.html

Outside of the US – global datasets of terrain are  a bit more tough, I would suggest  checking out the following:

·         Center for International Earth Science Information Network data sets: http://www.ciesin.org/sub_guide.html

·         The data from the global 7-CD set  that is now 1 DVD that USGS put out with American Geological Institute are listed online at:
·         USGS Global Land cover might be helpful (might not) http://edc2.usgs.gov/glcc/glcc.php
·         The Landcover institute page might provide some resources: http://landcover.usgs.gov/



Monday, November 01, 2010

Nice Math Resource!

http://blog.thinkwell.com/2010/10/algebra-1-solving-rational-equations.html

Q & A: Nile River Resources

Question: 
Are you familiar with any lessons and activities related to the Nile - cataracts, delta or the Aswan dam?  This 5th grade social studies teacher has expressed some interest in GIS and I'm trying to provide her some GIS-related activities that go along with her classroom focus.

Answer:

That is a VERY specific topic.  Joseph Kerski created a lesson three years ago using the NGS MapMachine, an online resource to explore Africa.  Unfortunately, the map machine is no more, but Joseph's lesson is still on ArcLessons and does a nice job of having students walk through different aspects of Africa. http://edcommunity.esri.com/arclessons/lesson.cfm?id=294 

I would suggest you use his plethora of materials (10 pdfs), but employ a new map gadget. For 5th grade and for an instructor that is just getting started... I like ArcGIS Explorer desktop (a virtual 3D globe) http://resources.arcgis.com/content/arcgis-explorer/1500/download or ArcGIS Explorer online http://explorer.arcgis.com/.  If your teacher is in a Mac only environment, you'll need to use the online product.  Having students search, add their comments to the map, play with different base maps and make their own presentations about the elements could be fantastic!

Some other goodies around are:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Personal Geography # 5: Mapping eBay


Recently, my husband upgraded his truck.  In the process he traded in his old truck and another car.  Since he likes to dabble in cars, we have a few spare parts around the garage.  With the exiting vehicles, he realized that he might make a little spare cash, what my grandmother called "mad money", on the parts and whatnots in the garage.  After my success on eBay, he decided to get rid of a few things.  The car parts have gone all over the USA!   Because I'm a bit of a map geek, we thought it might be fun to visualize car parts and their new homes.

Have a look with ArcGIS Explorer! (http://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=71ced8610d514107af868b4fd35bc2b8)

Problem Solving with GIS: Devil's Lake, ND

It's no secret that GIS is an excellent geography problem solving tool.  I recently saw this Accuweather video about Devil's Lake, ND.  I couldn't help but think about how students might use this to predict possible solutions for this small community faced with a big problem, water with no where to go.  The lake has claimed roads and homes at an alarming rate.

http://www.accuweather.com/video/617165007001/devils-lake-land-eating-machine-.asp

First let's take a look at this location on the map. http://bit.ly/9h46P4


View Larger Map

With a traditional aerial photo, we see land, roads and the lake.  But when we switch the map to World Physical.  What do we see? What if we add aquifers and drainage systems?  Is there hope for Devils Lake?

What other areas might begin to develop similar issues?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Simple Truths of Service

Prepare to be inspired!  This video will illuminate how simple gestures can have a lasting impact.

2011 Esri T3G Institute

Anyone who teaches GIS or with GIS should consider applying for this great opportunity.  I had a great experience as I ventured to the "mother ship" of GIS with so many smart and talented folks!  Our collaboration continue today!  Join our ranks!
http://edcommunity.esri.com/community/institute2011/index.cfm

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

National Conference on Geographic Education 2010

Savannah, what a nice spot to return for a vacation get away!  An impressive 46% of the membership attended this conference!  How many organizations can say that?

NCGE is such a warm gathering of scholars and teachers from many disciplines, all united by geography.   Everyone in this organization is excited about how geography can change perspective for any subject.  It's something to consider!  Even my former 7th graders noticed that "everything's mappable."  For a planet full of visual learners, adding geographic content to your instruction makes sense.  Folks in this organization have great ideas and want to share!

I suppose that I have become a geographer.  I never considered myself a true geographer but Dr. Jan Smith at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania said, "If you teach with geography, you're a geographer."  My contribution this year was in the computer lab teaching about using geospatial technologies in English Language Arts and a new work on short(20 minute), content-driven activities for elementary students. Also not to be missed is the map gallery of student GIS work from middle school to university!

If you'd like to get a sense of what was happening, do a Twitter search for #ncge and you will find some great information!  Follow along all year!  Be on the watch for next year's conference information.  We're headed to Portland, Oregon in August of 2011!  And no matter what you teach, join us!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Personal Geography #4: The Great Watermelon Conundrum of '78

Summers were great fun in the deep south!  Afternoon stiflingly sticky heat was often quenched with the timely arrival of the ice cream truck as you hear "The Entertainer" tune from far away...plenty of time to plead with Mom for 50 cents!  Often those summers included family journeys to the lake house or our family farm.  My Popie, my Dad's father, grew up doing quite a bit of farming on the family acreage in Branchville, AL.  My brother, my cousin and I would often jump in the back of the truck and "help out," especially at harvesting times.

One summer Popie decided to let us help plant.  He had done all the heavy lifting (plowing, fertilizing and such) and called us in for the fun stuff...seeds!  He always planted the usual suspects so that our winters were filled with my Mema's canned beans, peas, okra, corn, tomatoes and such...included in the annual plantings were those delicious watermelons that were just the thing you needed after a day boating and swimming in the lake...cracked open on the porch like manna from Heaven.  A little shade, a breeze and sweet watermelon still makes me smile.

Okay so the process was simple.  He gave each of us a row and a small handful of seeds (dozen or so).  We each looked at the  paltry pile and said, "Popie, this is not enough seeds!  Can we please have more?  We want to have plenty of watermelons."
He replied, "Oh, now, that's plenty of seeds."
"But Popie...."
"Well, okay, but if you plant 'em, you've got to pick 'em!"
"Oh YES!  No problem, Popie!  We'll pick 'em!"
So with that we scampered into the field to plant our personal crop of melons.  As the time goes by we look at the plants grow...and grow....and grow.  Seems that we had the perfect mix of rain and sun that year for a bumper crop!  Before we knew it, it was time to pick melons!  We hauled in melons all day and enjoyed the bounty on the porch along with a few neighbors and friends. (By the way did you know standard melons weigh about 20 pounds each?) We were so proud!  Another bit of time goes by and Popie calls, "We need to go to the farm.  More melons!"  Excitedly we go haul in another bounty!  Now this was fun the first two trips but after that...not so much.  By the time the season was done we must have filled his pickup truck three times with watermelons.  We couldn't give them away, we had so many!  Lesson learned!!!  Needless to say, we didn't volunteer for watermelon duty the next summer!

The story brings home some personal geography and understanding crops.  Geography, math and spatial awareness are key to really understanding the watermelon conundrum.  If you have a row that is 100 yards and you plant the entire row six inches per plant, how many plants will you have?  Given the standard yield of the crop, how many pounds of melons will you harvest?  Will you have the same crop yield in Maine as you do in Alabama?   Why?  What weather do you need for optimal growing?


View Larger Map
Also, what a valuable story!  Take these opportunities to bring students' personal life into English Language Arts class!  What is the story in agriculture?  What literature gives us a new look into agriculture? Also look into the Ag in the Classroom resources. http://www.agclassroom.org/

Little did I know that my grandfather was instilling in us spatial concepts, math and geography along with some valuable life lessons!  Thank you Popie!

If you're inspired to grow some watermelons, here's some info to get you started!
http://www.gardenersnet.com/vegetable/watermel.htm
http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/vegetable/growing-watermelon.htm

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Personal Geography #3: Listen for THE whistle!

Geography is personal from an early age, as demonstrated by some cleaver little boys in an airport (see post Personal Geography #1).  I can empathize with that little boy; home is a beautiful place!  I felt like that as a child.  For me, it was Farley Place in Birmingham, Alabama...steeped in pine tree towers, a creek, a fort in the woods and great places to journey on my bicycle.  Yes, my entire world was accessible with try trusty electric blue Schwinn with the sparkle seat, handlebar streamers and playing cards clothes-pinned to the spokes so you heard me coming!  


The rules were clear.  Anywhere on the loop was fine for a ride around but no stopping.  Stopping and visiting had to be pre-approved by the management (Mom and Dad).  In general, the measure of an okay distance was within ear shod of Daddy's distinctive whistle which you really could hear for about a block and a half away...as long as you stayed outside...also a rule.  


Just once, I made the mistake of playing inside Kelly's house and missed the "come home for dinner" whistle.  As I didn't respond (and he had a good idea where I was), Dad came to her house to "drag me home."  BIG MISTAKE!  My beloved electric blue adventure machine was imprisoned in the shed, locked away, for a month....in the summer!  I cried.  Lesson learned.


I've often had students  (young and old) make personal maps when teaching geographic or introducing spatial concepts.  Just draw it out...what do you see?  How do you remember it?  It's also powerful to share your map.  My students, especially middle school and high school students, love seeing "my house."  They can also see that you don't expect a Picasso-quality work of art!  This kind of activity is a great starting point and makes students appreciate the cool GIS maps that appear on the screen so easily.  Remember that personal perspective is an integral part of reading, writing and thinking about any subject.  


Feel free to share your personal geography with someone today!


Personal Geography #1: http://gisined.blogspot.com/2010/08/personal-geography-1-theres-no-place.html
Personal Geography #2: http://gisined.blogspot.com/2010/08/personal-geography-2-north-south-east.html

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Friday, September 03, 2010

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action | Video on TED.com

I enjoy many of the #TED talks but this one should strike a nerve across disciplines...not just my field of education but all others. My friend and colleague, Dr. Joseph Kerski, often talks about the "whys of where." If we start with "why" then we're at the core. Have a look and think about how these concepts can impact your world.

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action | Video on TED.com

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Personal Geography #2: North, South, East or West?

This video clip is great fun, as well as a good lesson in geography.   I think it's so funny because you just can't make this kind of thing up.  I know how the lady feels in trying to explain this lovely spot.  I personally used to live just north of a little town called West in Texas.  They sold shirts for a while that said West Comma Texas.  And... I can report that if you're in the mood for great Kolaches (this amazingly tasty Czech pastry) stop in West, Texas.

So meet this lovely lady who spent many years in North, South Carolina.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGRKTkS7pW8

Friday, August 27, 2010

Personal Geography #1: There's No Place Like Home

Summer is my busy season for teacher professional development events, so I find myself people watching at airports around the USA as I make the journey to various events.  This summer I had the pleasure of meeting two little boys (about 4 & 5 years old).  I was fresh from a conference where I had rubbed elbows with all sorts of brilliant geographic minds who are VERY serious about geography and all things geospatial.  As I patiently await the boarding process, two boys bounced into the waiting area like they were straight from the Tigger Fan Club Meeting.

One of the little fellows looks at me and says, "We're going to fly home!"
I replied, "Me, too!  Where's home?"
He quickly and assuredly says, "Alemeda and Broadway."
"What city is that in?" I inquire.
He retorts, "Alemeda and Broadway."
Now I'm curious as to how much he understands about his geography, so I ask, "Is that a city?"
"No" he explains, "it's a country!"
"What country is that?" I ask.
As he's dancing around the post he says, "Alemeda."
"Oh, I see.  I've never been there." I replied.
He QUICKLY exclaims as he slows down to emphasize his point, "Ohhhh, it's a beauuutiful place!"
I told him I'd add that to my places to visit and he smiled proudly as he skipped off with flagrant waves goodbye.

What a ground truthing experience!  Not in the way that geography professionals would think but isn't that truly grounding?  It certainly made me think about the "beauuutiful places" in my life, personal geography that gives meaning and shapes who we are.  As Dorothy says, "There's no place like home."

P.S. A salute to this little boy's parents who taught him where home is, the most beautiful place in the world!

Archaeologists find new clues why the Maya left - USATODAY.com

You don't have to use fancy maps to include geospatial content. This article/website does a nice job of giving geographic perspective along with multimedia content. You students will groove on these kinds of experiences as part of their content!
Archaeologists find new clues why the Maya left - USATODAY.com

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

GeoCool: Exploring with GeoTechnologies

New Article published in Learning and Leading with Technology with Joseph Kerski "Geo-Cool: Exploring with GeoTechnologies" p. 28-31 (September/October 2010-Vol.38 No. 2).  We've highlighted some examples of geospatial technologies for the classroom.  There's something for every classroom!

ArcGIS Explorer Desktop 1500

The newest version of ESRI's free virtual globe is available at http://www.ESRI.com/software/arcgis/explorer/download.html 


I love this tool for the classroom!  This virtual globe is the perfect mix as a first stop for including geospatial technologies into your content!


According to http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/explorer/whats-new.html

New capabilities of ArcGIS Explorer (build 1500) include:
  • Directly use and optimize image services.
  • Improved support for ArcGIS 10 layer packages and geodatabases.
  • Ability to search for and add content directly from ArcGIS Online. You can also share map items immediately to your online account.
  • Ability to share (export) to layer packages and to KML. You can also create notes from KML.
  • Shared layer packages, notes, and KML can be saved locally, added to ArcGIS Online, or e-mailed directly from the application.
  • Improved KML handling in both 2D and 3D mode; regionated KML is now supported in 2D mode.
  • Ability to add data directly from Excel spreadsheets.
  • Inclusion of OpenStreetMap in the basemap gallery.
  • Notes can now be labeled.
  • Improved query capabilities, so you can create expressions to filter data displayed on your map.
  • Improved symbol appearance in 2D and 3D modes.
  • SDK has been updated to support Visual Studio 2010.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Using Web GIS in the Classroom

NCGE Live Webinar Series 
Topic: Using Web GIS in the Classroom. 


Presenter: Joseph Kerski, ESRI, Geographer and Education Manager 


Date: Tuesday 31 August 2010 


Time: 4PM Eastern, 3PM Central, 2PM Mountain, 1PM Pacific, 12PM Alaska, 10AM Hawaii 


Cost: Free for Members, $20 for Non-Members 


Description: Today's Web-based Geographic Information Systems have become powerful tools to enable students to think spatially while investigating real topics in real places.  All that is needed to interact with these tools is an ordinary web browser.  However, the inquiry they offer is rich and engaging, incorporating real-time data with local to global phenomena.  Much more than online maps, these tools allow students to investigate geographic patterns, linkages, and relationships.  Join Joseph Kerski as we explore natural hazards, language, economics, invasive species, population, and other topics using Web GIS tools including ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Explorer Online, National Atlas, World mapper, Modern Language Association interactive map, and more.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Thursday, August 05, 2010

3-D Printer

My friends at GISetc are in Bismark, ND this week. They shared this cool technology with us via their website. Watch the video to see 3D object printed out! Fascinating stuff!
gisetc.com � 3-D Printer Complete Progression (a.k.a. LIVE from Bismarck)

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

My Summer Reading Adventure

Summer draws to a close, at least here in southeastern Louisiana....school starts August 9th.  I have been talking with my tutoring students about their summer reading.  I too try to do some summer reading and wanted to highlight my favorite of this summer, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen.  I am a geography fan and adore adventure stories.  This selection rang both those bells like Christmas at the Vatican.  The story highlights the adventure, trials and triumphs of a 12 year old genius cartographer.  He maps life: people, places, events...everything.  One of his triumphs sets him on a cross-country journey that is replete with adventure.  Whether you want a good read, need to recommend one to a student or you're just curious...check it out!



Thursday, July 22, 2010

Storm's a comin'! Get your data ready!

It's that time of year again! If you haven't taken advantage of their data, now's a great time to show students the progression of the storm. The National Hurricane Center has their GIS data ready to download and pull into your favorite GIS application.  Just click DOWNLOAD GIS DATA.  Whether you're using a free product like AEJEE or ArcGIS Explorer OR you're mapping with ArcGIS, MapInfo or MyWorld GIS, you can analyze the weather along with those experts on The Weather Channel!

Tropical Storm BONNIE


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Teach Reading and Writing with Geospatial Technologies



Reading, Writing and Thinking Around the Globe: Geospatial Technologies for the English Language Arts and Beyond

new book coverby Barbaree Ash Duke

If you’re looking for realistic ideas for implementing 21stCentury tools into your classroom, then this is the book for you. Harness the power of online mapping, virtual globes and online content!  Spotlighted areas, reading and writing, foster ways to teach thinking in a tradition-laden subject.  Ready-to-use lessons, practical ideas, suggestions on collaboration and research make this book a must-have for many classrooms.
Send an email if you have questions!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Attending the ISTE Conference in Denver? Learn more about using GPS and GIS at the ESRI booth! iste10

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rolling Plains Quail Research

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of joining the AgTech Teachers in visiting the
Rolling Plains Quail Research Center. They're doing cool research on quail, coyotes and other wildlife and plant species. They're leveraging the power of geospatial technologies: GPS, GIS and Remote Sensing to help understand the wildlife and environment. Have a look around their site and if you're planning on being in that part of Texas, they'd love to give you and your students a tour! It was a great ending to my trip to the Sweetwater area! Can't wait to go back and enjoy the wind sweeping down the plain!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New GIS Curriculum Books

Come and get 'em! Books are in the store!
http://bit.ly/d25YgY
Reading, Writing & Thinking Around the Globe: Geospatial Technologies for the English Language Arts Classroom and Beyond by Barbaree Duke
and
20 Minute GIS for Young Explorers by Barbaree Duke, Anita Palmer & Roger Palmer
Just $25!