Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bird’s-Eye View: Using GIS and Remote Sensing

Mennesket er små usynlige bakterier på overfladen af lande og kontinent ...

Humans are like small invisible bacteria on the surface of countries and continents ...


New Curriculum Invites Exploration of the United States from a “Bird’s-Eye View” Using GIS and Remote Sensing

Bird's Eye CD Cover

We are frequently asked, “Can younger students analyze historical, geographic, and scientific phenomena in a GIS environment?” Absolutely! Using a new resource called “Exploring the United States: A Bird’s-Eye View,” students in Grades 4 through 6 have new opportunities to explore the country using maps, satellite images, aerial photographs, graphs, and databases. Supported by a NASA grant to the National Council for Geographic Education and authored by a team of experienced instructors, the Bird’s Eye curriculum is contained on a CD-ROM. ESRI was proud to provide staff support, software, and production of CDs for this project. The CD is available from the NCGE store.

The CD contains lessons, data, assessment instruments, and GIS software—everything an instructor needs to begin engaging students in a variety of topics at a variety of scales. These topics include an investigation of the development of the Erie Canal, a comparison of deep shaft versus open pit mining, analyzing urban growth of Las Vegas, exploring the ecoregions and land use of the Great Lakes, the impact of Disney World on Orange County, Florida, an investigation of the settlement of the corn belt, shaping the Nation’s capital, tracking Hurricane Katrina, and much more—14 lessons in all. The CD contains a school site license for the GIS software Arc Explorer Java Edition for Education (AEJEE), which offers a powerful toolkit for inquiry but ease of use. It can be used on computers running Windows or Mac operating systems. The CD also contains reading material about the background and benefits of using GIS and remote sensing in the classroom, key concepts, and technologies. Students may work individually, in small groups that share a computer, or as a class with one computer and a data projector. While the lessons are written for upper primary school students, the lessons can be expanded for use by middle and high school students using the same data and software.

Explore the USA for yourself from a Bird’s-Eye View!

- Joseph Kerski, ESRI Education Manager

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