Paper No. 11
Presentation Time: 4:20 PM

USING WEB GIS TO ENHANCE TECTONICS LEARNING AND GEOSPATIAL THINKING


BURROWS, Jill E.1, BODZIN, Alec2, ANASTASIO, David1, SAHAGIAN, Dork3, RUTZMOSER, Scott4, BRESSLER, Denise2, CIRUCCI, Lori5 and TELETZKE, Allison1, (1)Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lehigh University, 1 W Packer Ave, Bethlehem, PA 18015, (2)Education and Human Services, Lehigh University, A113 Iacocca Hall, 111 Research Dr, Bethlehem, PA 18015, (3)Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lehigh University, 1 West Packer Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 18015, (4)Library and Technology Services, Lehigh University, 1 W Packer Ave, Bethlehem, PA 18015, (5)Broughal Middle School, Bethlehem, PA 18015, jeb308@lehigh.edu

GIS promotes geospatial thinking by enabling powerful data visualizations and enhancing scientific inquiry in secondary classrooms. We developed a series of six Web GIS investigations designed to augment a traditional middle school Earth science curriculum. The investigations are aligned to Disciplinary Core Ideas: Earth and Space Science from the National Research Council’s (2012) Framework for K-12 Science Education ESS2.B: Plate Tectonics and Large Scale System Interactions and the tectonics benchmark ideas articulated in the AAAS Project 2061 (2007) Atlas of Science Literacy. The investigations were developed with a geospatial learning curriculum design approach that incorporates a curriculum framework, design principles, an instructional model for the development of learning activities with spatially-enabled learning technologies, and materials that are educative for teachers to support their enactment in diverse classrooms. The learning activities incorporate a suite of JavaScript-based Web GIS tools and interactivities that can be used on tablets, and laptop and desktop computers. The Web GIS interface is designed for simplicity, intuition, and convenience, making it easier for diverse middle school learners and their teachers to conduct authentic tectonics investigations than is presently possible. The intuitive interface enables diverse learners to develop geospatial thinking skills that are important for understanding Earth's structures and tectonic processes. We illustrate how students are able to perform tectonics investigations that include geospatial analysis, map visualization and query, and the manipulation of geospatial data. Findings from our prototype implementation in urban classrooms show high levels of teacher fidelity to the instructional model when enacting the materials in their classrooms.