STEM and GIS In Higher Education ebook

06-12-2018 08:35 AM
Esri Regular Contributor 

These new geographical tools benefit not only STEM researchers but
also educators, who can offer their students a spatially oriented approach to learning that will enhance both learning and recruitment.
Building on this argument, Tsou and Yanow (2010) have made an even stronger
case for general-education courses in geographic information science and technology (GIS&T) at both the university and community college levels. They argue:
With a solid foundation in spatial literacy, students will be better prepared
to consider the crucial scientific and social questions of the 21st century. We
believe that the dramatic progress of Web-based GIS and mobile GIS, along
with the easy access to global geospatial datasets and virtual desktop access, will help GIS educators create more GE-level GIS&T courses in the coming years. (Tsou and Yanow 2010, 46)
This advances upon a major 2006 National Research Council (NRC) study, entitled Learning to Think Spatially: GIS as a Support System in the K–12 Curriculum, which drew the following conclusions:
  • • The committee sees GIS as exemplifying both the theoretical power of a
  • high-tech system for supporting spatial thinking and the practical design
  • and implementation problems that must be faced in the K–12 context:
  • • The power of GIS lies in its ability to support the scientific research process
  • and to provide policy-related answers to significant real-world problems
  • arising in a range of disciplinary contexts.
  • • The appeal of GIS lies in its direct connection to significant workforce
  • opportunities in the information technology (IT) sector.
  • • The potential of GIS lies in its ability to accommodate the full range of
  • learners and to be adapted to a range of educational settings. (NRC 2006)
To help realize the benefits of a stronger linkage between GIS and STEM education, Esri has committed to providing free ArcGIS Online software to the more than 100,000 elementary, middle, and high schools in the United States. This project is part of the White House ConnectED Initiative “to facilitate digital learning anytime, anywhere, high-quality software that provides multiple learning opportunities for students, and relevant teacher training to support this effort”
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