Kamy Anderson is an eLearning advocate who has a passion for writing on innovative and emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He has years of experience working with learning management system and eLearning authoring tools. With his background in learning pedagogy, … More »
The Value of GIS in Education
April 29th, 2015 by Kamy Anderson
In a recent blog on this site, Matt Sheehan suggested that many people who are new to GIS don’t truly understand the value of the technology. He suggested several ways to demonstrate the value of GIS technology in the workplace, such as showing people how it can help them perform tasks more quickly and easily.
Another area where more work is needed to demonstrate the value of GIS is in education, especially in K-12. Last year in the National Geographic blog, National Geographic’s Vice President for Education Daniel C. Edelson called GIS the “missing educational technology.” While various initiatives have focused on how to use more technology in the classroom, Edelson wrote that applications like GIS tools are often left out.
The key to getting more GIS technology into K-12 and online classroom are demonstrating the value of the technology for teaching and learning. Here are five benefits that demonstrate the value of GIS in education.
1. GIS provides students with an interactive way to learn about the world.
Daniel C. Edelson writes: “GIS tools…provide powerful functions for asking questions and analyzing what-if scenarios.” Being able to manipulate and actively use these systems provides a much deeper understanding of geographic phenomena than can be obtained by simply reading static maps.
2. GIS can be used across the curriculum to provide a holistic view of how the world works.
3. GIS brings learning out of the classroom and into the real world.
4. GIS teaches valuable technology skills.
5. GIS empowers learners with skills that are in-demand in the workforce.
In the conclusion of his article, Edelson commented that GIS software is now usable enough for elementary school classrooms, and with web-based applications, no downloading or installation is required. The only thing left, he says, is the “obstacle of awareness.” This obstacle will only be overcome by demonstrating the clear value — for both teachers and students — of incorporating GIS tools and technologies into K-12 education.