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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Discover the Mathematical World of GIS: NECC Session 1 Wednesday

Patty Warren and Daniel Warren, Clemson University , Clemson, South Carolina, approximately 12o people in attendance.

Maps on computers-GIS happens-the most important aspect of GIS is the layering of data sets that enable teachers and students to investigate inquiry-based questions.

Free programs for GIS: Google Earth and ESRI ArcExplorer-Java Edition for Education

Book: Learning to Think Spatially

GIS uses maps, photos, databases, satellite images and graphs.

GIS is not GPS, although you can put GPS information into GIS

Who uses GIS-just about everyone, such as Homeland Security, CDC, fire fighting agencies, urban planning agencies, law enforcement agencies, National Weather Service (has downloadable data)

The National Center for Health Statitics has a GIS data page.

Why do presenters just read their PowerPoint slides?

How does the use of GIS technology impact standardized testing? visualize data, convert word problems, test normative values against empiracal evidence, and build useful technology skills.

Can be incorporated into just about any curriculum.

The presenter is now explaining the interface of the the ESRI interface. She is now demonstrating the query field which enables students to build mathematical functions that can investigate relationships between the layers of data.

Dan is now doing his part of the presentation: Fractions, decimals, ratios, percents, reading and interpreting data.

SCALE: He is now talking about scale, 1 unit of the display is how many units in the map, so he is beginning to develop the idea of mathematical scale and how GIS applications can help kids understand this. He suggests that math is the language of science, and this can form a natural link between the two disciplines.

COORDINATES: talking about latitude and longitudes, making the relationship between scale (1 box on the map = this change in lat and long).

Students must be ready cognitively for coordinates.

Dan has just turned on the layer for cities and is searching the city layer for Paris.

He is suggesting that kids could convert lat and long to decimal degrees as a mathematical.

The presenters are laboring to make connections-hey, a cell phone goes off-big surprise, so far nothing here that my math teachers would jump on.

Scale, coordinates, attributes...oops, the most important slide so far up and gone in 5 seconds...

He is now demonstrating the attribute layer, and talking about the interactivity between GIS data sets and a spreadsheet.

BIG IDEA: This is about visualization of data and asking questions. That's the big idea here. Another way to promote instruction through visual means. Manipulation. Mashup.

Descriptive statistics-lots of applications here, mean, mode.

Now is demonstrating the query feture and showing how to development mathematical functions (is that the right term?) to query the data set. This is good stuff.

This would be really cool projected on a SmartBoard.

BIG IDEA: I would examine my standards, write an essential question for investigation based on those standards, framed within an authentic context, and then projected on the SmartBoard, with students writing mathematical functions to query the database to identify visual data that would help answer the essential question.

BIG IDEA: I would let the kids loose with the software, turn it on, and let them figure out what it can do and what it can tell you.

Hey, the slide is back! Use GIS for descriptive statiscs, extracting a spreadsheet, adding point information, queries.

For science, get a GPS and make your own data-add an event

This program (see link above) cannot build complicated databases, but it is sufficient for may projects. He put a couple of points into the database/map and linked it to a Web page (could be any resource).

He is now showing how to measure distances. Shows a curved and a straight line (Rhumb line-not the shortest distance.

I would have liked a little more information on math applications (actual lesson plans), where to get data, etc. Opening PP presentation was too fast and just read, but the presentation did give me some ideas.

Tags: necc06 necc2006 necc


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