Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2015

Document Type

Masters Plan B

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Science & Mathematics Teaching Center

Advisor

Nick Jones, Senior Research Scientist, Chair

Second Advisor

Alan Buss, Associate Professor

Third Advisor

Scott Chamberlin, Associate Professor

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Joy Banres-Johnson

Abstract

In the ever-present search for betterment, technology offers many benefits that have never been seen before, namely accessibility and engagement. Technology is accessible to almost anyone, anywhere in the world. The proper use of technology can capture the interest of the student and ensure engagement. This can be accomplished without regard to location, time-zone, political standing, even language barriers are becoming less impenetrable. With the rise of mobile device usage, a person can access information from the middle of a farmer’s field, to the middle of an elementary classroom and everywhere in-between. This project examines how global positioning technology systems including standard GPS and Google mapping technologies can be used to enhance understanding of the physical and natural world. The present work is based on several current educational theories including Place-based education, Citizen Science, and 21st Century Science Skills. Close scrutiny of current policy and research documents around STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teaching and learning standards inform this project. A website was developed to collate and share geospatial technology resources for teachers and learners in academic (middle school appropriate) and professional settings. The site: http://eldergoff.wix.com/gps-gps is a repository of links to teaching helps and informational pages on education in science, notably geospatial technology for classroom and practical use. A full literature review is available on the website which also includes many interactive tools.

Comments

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Natural Science from the Science and Mathematics Teaching Center.

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