Retrieved from eSchool News Online

"Geospatial" technologies-which include geographic information system (GIS), global positioning system (GPS), and remote sensing (RS) tools-are becoming increasingly important in our everyday lives. These technologies use "smart" maps that can display, query, and analyze geographic databases; receivers that provide location and navigation; and global-to-local imagery and tools that provide context and analysis.

As these tools become vital to helping community leaders ask and answer questions with both local and global implications, the ability to think spatially is an increasingly important skill for students. Hundreds of jobs-in such areas as planning, law enforcement, environmental management, business, public safety, health, and agriculture-now require key geographic inquiry skills.

Though GIS technology appears in the National Geography Standards, teachers in earth, environmental, biological, and general science also are incorporating geospatial technologies into their lessons. The growing use of these tools in an array of social studies and STEM subjects supports authentic, problem-based instruction, helping students tackle real social and environmental research projects in their communities.

School leaders, too, are using geospatial technologies to help with their planning and decision making. These tools can help districts make more informed decisions related to facilities planning, student transportation, school safety, and more.

With the generous financial support of ESRI, the editors of eSchool News have compiled this special collection of news stories, best practices, and other resources-all designed to help you integrate GIS and other geospatial technologies into your classrooms and district offices.--The Editors

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 eSN News & Information:

Best Instructional Practices

Geography studies flying high in Montana schools
Students in Montana soon will have free access to the same space-based tools professional foresters, engineers, and mapmakers use to explore and study the world, thanks to a geography initiative called GIS-4-Montana.

Google Maps inspire creativity
A new technology from internet search behemoth Google Inc. is making innovators out of some educators, who have begun envisioning practical uses for the company's new Google Maps feature to make previously unavailable graphic representations of everything from school district bus routes to geography lessons.

Students create 'biomaps' using sophisticated GIS software
Students at Hopkinton High School in New Hampshire are taking a hands-on approach to learning about their local flora and fauna, with the help of very sophisticated mapping software.

Students use computers to design real-world service projects
North Heights Junior High School's Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) lab. In the lab program, students work out concepts for service projects on their computer screens and then apply them to real-world situations and people, said Michael Vincent, EAST lab teacher at North Heights.

Teachers take summer-school lessons in geography at NASA
Ask some teachers from across the country what they did this summer and they might tell you they were a "mission specialist" involved with a NASA project. But these teachers weren't exploring space. They were learning how to engage students in an exploration of the earth using tools provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

NASA school could put 'geospatial technology' on the map
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) hopes to give a boost to an emerging technical specialty by launching a model high-tech school in rural Georgia.
Best School Managment Practices
GIS technology aids school planning
Before administrators for the 8,300-student Fayetteville Public School District in Arkansas decided where to build their new K-7 school, they set out to find the perfect location--one that would benefit the greatest number of families while causing the least disruption in traffic patterns and other geographic variables. The decision proved to be an easy one, thanks to the aid of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology.

Soaring fuel costs threaten school budgets
The fuel panic that ensued after Hurricane Katrina interrupted oil production and transportation in the Gulf Coast region has heightened concerns over rising fuel costs that already had existed before the storm. These soaring costs have put a serious strain on school budgets, prompting school leaders to examine ways they can save.

Technology helps Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools comply with sweeping court order
When a federal judge ordered the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools on Sept. 9 to stop using race as a criteria for student placement, he gave the district less than a year to comply with the landmark ruling. Thirty years of carefully planned desegregation had to be revised in just 11 months, which meant that new boundaries had to be drawn for the district's 140 schools.

Technology: Charlotte-Mecklenburg uses technology to match schools with donors
Matching potential business partners with schools that need their help has always been a challenge for large school systems. Businesses want to contribute and schools need assistance, but plugging the right resource into the need often is difficult.

Geography & GIS Resources

Chart the past--and present--of geographic exploration with this site commemorating Lewis and Clark
Commemorating 200 years since Meriwether Lewis and William Clark embarked on their pioneering expedition throughout North America, ESRI, a maker of geographic information systems (GIS) software, has developed a new web site called "Lewis and Clark 200."

National Geographic hosts fun-filled explorations
The National Geographic site is an incredibly extensive and well-thought out site for kids and educators alike. The site features pull-down screens like "Online Adventures," in which kids can click through a series of pictures of the vanishing cultures of the Ariaal in Kenya, the Chipaya in Bolivia, and the Penan of Malaysia, and an online Congo trek with renowned conservationists.

Chart a course for learning with this historical map collection
What did the United States look like before the Civil War? When did Texas secede from Mexico? What portion of the country was bought up through the Louisiana purchase? A new web site now gives teachers the ability to instill a love of maps-and the history they represent-in their students, while teaching them valuable geography and cartography skills.

Royalty-free video: Geography
Discovery Education is offering its unitedstreaming video-on-demand service subscribers access to more than 1,000 video clips that have been copyright-cleared by their producers for editing or reproduction by teachers and students in class projects.

 Additional Resources :

Geography across the curriculum

Exploring Common Ground: The Educational Promise of GIS (Downloadable Paper)
http://www.esri.com/industries/k-12/download/docs/xcg.pdf

Geographic Inquiry: Thinking Geographically (Downloadable Paper)
http://www.esri.com/industries/k-12/download/docs/geoginquiry.pdf

Learning to Think Spatially new report from the National Research Council
http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11019.html

Geography across the community

EAST Initiative (Multi-state program on student-centered technology education)
http://www.eastproject.org

My Community, Our Earth (Ongoing project to engage youth in sustainability issues)
http://www.aag.org/sustainable

Geography and careers

Career Voyages: Geospatial Technology
http://www.careervoyages.gov/geospatialtechnology-main.cfm

Geospatial 21 (Part of the Kidz Online Network)
http://www.geospatial21.org

Mapping out a GIS career
http://www.gis.com/careers

President's High-Growth Job Training Initiative--Geospatial Technology
http://www.doleta.gov/BRG/Indprof/Geospatial.cfm

SPACESTARS (GIS, GPS, RS Curricula)
http://www.spacestars.org

Geography and school administration

Chicago launches online school locator
http://schoollocator.cps.k12.il.us

Detroit tackles facilities and transportation with GIS
http://www.esri.com/news/arcnews/fall05articles/earning-all.html

Online Mapping

Community Information Resources Center (Try interactive mapping)
http://circ.rupri.org

Geography Network
http://www.geographynetwork.com

National Geographic Society MapMachine
http://plasma.nationalgeographic.com/mapmachine

USGS National Atlas (Try the MapMaker)
http://www-atlas.usgs.gov

GPS resources

Garmin: About GPS
http://www.garmin.com/aboutGPS/

NASA: GPS Applications Exchange
http://gpshome.ssc.nasa.gov/

Sam Wormley's GPS Resources
http://www.edu-observatory.org/gps/gps.html

Trimble: About GPS
http://www.trimble.com/gps/index.html

Remote sensing resources

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: Remote Sensing Data and Information
http://rsd.gsfc.nasa.gov/rsd/RemoteSensing.html

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: Visualization of Remote Sensing Data
http://rsd.gsfc.nasa.gov/rsd

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Shuttle Radar Topography Mission
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/srtm

NOAA Satellite's Eye Art Gallery
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ol/satellite/satelliteseye/satelliteseye.html

University of Montana: Earth Observing System Education Project
http://www.eoscenter.com (select "Remote Sensing" and "Imagery")



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