2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 8-11
Presentation Time: 11:00 AM

SPATIAL ANALYSIS, SOCIAL MEDIA, AND SENSE OF PLACE: STUDENTS AS AGENTS OF CHANGE


BOGER, Rebecca, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Brooklyn College, 2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11210, ADAMS, Jennifer, School of Education, Brooklyn College, 2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11210 and LOW, Russanne, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583, rboger@brooklyn.cuny.edu

We employ locally relevant, place-based investigations using geospatial technologies to teach about changes in the Earth system. Place is a landscape that gives meaning through cultural knowledge and personal experience. Place-based learning modalities are naturally transdiscipinary, and connect local social, cultural and scientific data in inquiry investigations that are relevant and meaningful to students. Place-based pedagogies promote an emotional connection to the subject matter and promote literacy within the Earth system sciences. Social media functionalities available through ArcGIS Online (AGO) provide students with tools to share and communicate the results of their investigations. Cloud-based spatial data and analysis tools are readily accessed via AGO and support both quantitative and qualitative modes of inquiry. Time-aware web-based map applications, map blogs and portfolio tools empower students to move their classroom understanding of Earth system concepts into social media venues where they are empowered as change agents to act and advocate about places where they have an emotional connection. Together, place-based pedagogies and newly emerging cloud-based spatial technologies are poised to revolutionize the way a student understands her role as an agent of change in the Earth system. Place-based pedagogies and cloud-based spatial analysis tools now feature prominently in how we introduce and engage students in the study of geoscience, in online, blended and face-to-face contexts. Examples of collaborative research on place-based approaches in graduate and undergraduate geoscience, natural resources and science teacher education classrooms are presented.