|stuff for GIS and geo in education|
The KanGIS Student Data Mapper was first created in 2001 by Tom Baker while at the Center for Science Education in the University of Kansas. While the original design, code, testing instruments and participant data of that project are long gone, the basic idea still reamins: teachers should be able to use fast web tools to create scientific or geographic questions of inquiry and allow their students to collect supporting data.
Today's mobile Student Data Mapper is intended to blend emerging BYOD models in instrutional technology with the best practices in PBL and inquiry in science education and geography education. Teachers design and create collaborative projects using a web browser and students submit data to the project from their iOS or Android smartphones (or a web browser). Data can be analyzed by students using web-based GIS tools or downloaded for more extensive study.
Teachers might ask a hyperlocal question like "How does lichen coverage vary across town?" to which students in a class could sample lichen coverage using a teacher-approved standard protocal. Alternatively, a teacher could ask "How do language patterns vary across the US? For example, who uses 'Coke', 'Pepsi', 'Soda', or 'Pop' when asking for a carbonated beverage?" To this question, students across the country might submit responses and even ask friends and family
The mobile Student Data Mapper is in early beta testing now with a stream of enhancedments planned for the summer. All projects and student data should be retained throughout beta into release. Ideally, the mSDM will be stable and running at full steam on August 1 for the start of the school year.