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Teaching with Spatial Technology (TwiST)

from Timothy A. Kent, PLS; Surveying & Geomatics Program Coordinator Clark College

During the last week of June, fifteen middle and high school teachers were on the Clark College campus in Vancouver to immerse themselves in surveying, global positioning systems (GPS), and geographic information systems (GIS).

The impetus of the program is to have middle and high school teachers become aware of and utilize knowledge in spatial technology so that they can expose their students to these somewhat unknown professional employment fields. This information can be used to help guide the students to look at post high school education and hopefully enroll in colleges that teach these technologies.

These middle and high school teachers were from most of the western states and teach math, history, and related sciences at their schools. They were provided a number of teaching tools including software and hardware that they could then incorporate into their curriculum.

The teachers were in the classroom in the morning and roving around campus most afternoons, collecting data with their new GPS units, measuring their pace, and using their new hand compasses in a variety of exercises. It was great to watch them in their many “aha” moments as it all began to come together. The spatial data gathered with the GPS units was then downloaded into ArcGIS software for further analysis and use in lab sessions.

Each of the schools are eligible to receive an ArcGIS license from Esri for a year. This will enable the teachers to utilize their learning experiences at TwiST in the classroom while the information remains fresh in their minds. The attendees ended the course by creating story maps, a great teaching tool that can be applicable to any teaching moment.

Support this effort by identifying teachers that you believe would benefit from attending this training. Remember, the students they teach today can become the professional surveyors of tomorrow. more


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