Daily Archives: September 28, 2009

GIS, Geography Education, and the NCGE

Teaching with GIS fits well in many disciplines, but one of its “homes” is in geography education. One might argue that for a geography educator not to use maps is like a chemistry teacher not using the periodic table. And the spatial analysis possible with GIS today extends maps beyond tools that help students find where things are located to analyzing patterns, relationships, and trends across multiple scales and themes.

One way that ESRI decided to support geography educators back in the early 1990s was through one of the world’s chief professional associations for geography educators, the National Council for Geographic Education (http://www.ncge.org). Ever since then, we have served on the NCGE’s publications, administrative, external relations, and research planning committees, by writing the geography map skill set with the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and by creating the CDs for the Birds Eye Remote Sensing curriculum set for Grades 4 through 6. The NCGE has served to strengthen geography education at all levels since its founding in 1915 through professional development, awards, curriculum, partnerships, and networking.
Last week, ESRI supported the NCGE annual conference.

The NCGE conference was held in Puerto Rico this year, a place of stunning diversity in its physical and cultural geography.

Through a series of hands-on workshops, an exhibit where we feature software, curriculum, literature, and real people to talk with, writing journal articles, and by contributing to the poster session, we hoped to demonstrate our support for NCGE, geography education, and GIS. Our hands-on workshops were taught by ESRI education staff as well as our partners and friends in geography education. The diversity of topics well represented the diversity of GIS as an instructional tool. These included such topics as geotagging images with latitude-longitude values, investigations with ArcGIS Explorer, web GIS, exploring the Caribbean with ArcMap, seeking and discovering spatial data, remote sensing image analysis, Civil War investigations with AEJEE, using PDF maps, and more.

We encourage you to join the NCGE and consider using GIS in your classroom teaching or in your research project.

- Joseph Kerski, ESRI Education Team

Posted in Education | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment