Emerging Technologies in Teaching, Research, and Learning: GIS Technology and Methods in Education

Emerging Technologies in Teaching, Research, and Learning: GIS Technology and Methods in Education

Colbert Mutiso Jackson (University of Eastern Africa, Kenya) and Dickson Kinoti Kibetu (Chuka University, Kenya)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5915-3.ch011

Abstract

A GIS is a tool for working with geographic information. Therefore, its primary purpose is to maintain data about geographic space. A GIS application deals with spatial information on a computer. GIS software presents earth features on a computer and then uses GIS to visualize, question, analyze, and understand this data about the world and human activity. Often this data is viewed on a map. This chapter shows the relationship between geographical information technology and society and provides educators and policymakers with a basic understanding of GIS, its relevance to teaching and learning, and suggest possible ways for implementing GIS technology in the classroom. This means that GIS has an educational agenda to meet, since this technology presents several opportunities for teachers to implement learner-centered approaches for various subjects.
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Background

The application of contemporary technologies in teaching accelerates the attainment of educational goals, and this is why GIS may be regarded as a technique with the likelihood of enabling problem-based learning (PBL) and inquiry-based learning (IBL). However, despite its soaring didactic advantages in teaching, the application of GIS in teaching is lacking in many countries of the world, and especially in the developing world.

A large amount of the information in today’s era of dynamic education systems calls for an appropriate consciousness of the physical characteristics of the world. GIS is a very important tool able to uplift students’ ability to understand and conceptualize this kind of information. The studies showing the gains of the application of GIS in education has risen in recent times.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Student: Someone who is participating in a program of study in order to attain a particular profession.

Decision Making: The action or process of choosing a reasonable alternative from the available options.

Spatial Information: The information that recognizes the geographic location of phenomena on Earth, both natural and manmade.

Curriculum: The materials, lessons, and academic content taught in school for the purpose of achieving targeted educational outcomes.

Student-centered Learning: A variety of educational programs encompassing methods of teaching that shift the focus of instruction from the teacher to the student, by addressing the needs of individual students and/or groups of students.

Fieldwork: Practical work done by a researcher in the natural environment, where the earth is the laboratory and source of information about something.

Database: A structured set of data stored in a computer, managed and maintained for the purpose of easy access of the desired information.

Educationist: A person who has a specialized in the principles and methods of education.

Holistic: The belief that all parts of something are closely interrelated and understandable only by reference to the whole.

Geographic Information System (GIS): A computer system used in capturing, storing, manipulating, analyzing, managing, and visualizing geographical data.

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