Mapping a Student's Education
October 11th, 2007

To help students become better citizens, researchers have pointed to digital mapping programs as a way to help social studies students better visualize abstract issues and how they effect their community. These programs can also help students to pass the history and geography topics on the Regents exam, which is needed to graduate in New York State.

To get students more involved, write (free subscription) Thomas Chandler and Heejung, in a journal of online education called Innovate, the programs “must be used in a way that relates the digital map to real-world experiences, such as comparing a digital map to actual geographic features found in the community.” Issues like urban sprawl, environmental degradation, economic inequality, and immigration are much better understood on a map, they say.

The Teachers College at Columbia University is giving workshops to New York City social studies teachers on one such mapping program, a free software called ArcExplorer. In one example of how it could be used, students at the workshop used the program to develop a map showing how a hurricane like Katrina would effect their schools.

By on October 11, 2007, 7:39 am
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