Integrating Remote Sensing, GPS and GIS in K-12 Instruction (A Lesson Plan) I. A Description of the Lesson Classroom discussions on the subject of Social Studies can be uninteresting for students in K-12. This is primarily because it would seem that the topics covered would not be immediately of use for them…
However, with the introduction of geospatial technology such as remote sensing, geographic information system (GIS), and global positioning system (GPS), Social Studies can become very interesting to pre-collegiate students. In fact, “with data from satellite-based sensors becoming widely available, curricular and instructional opportunities are limitless” (Gaile & Willmott 2003, 411). This lesson is a basic introduction of geospatial technology itself, particularly RS, GIS, and GPS to the students in the K-12 educational levels using the simplest forms of explication and focusing on instilling in the students its correct appraisal in relation their subject Social Studies. II. Learning Objectives The use of geospatial technology has been of much use ever since it was developed and introduced. Government agencies involved in different aspects of national and social life use it to gather and analyze information, whether these are regarding the population, the weather, politics, agriculture, and other concerns. Because of this, it is imperative for teachers in K-12 social studies subjects to introduce spatial and geographic issues and to introduce students to the technologies to be used for these (Alibrandi & Moloney 2001). In doing so, the following may well be the objectives not just for the students who are the recipient of the education process but also for the teacher who delivers it to them. 1. To educate K-12 students in Social Studies about the basic features of geospatial technology, particularly Remote Sensing, GPS, and GIS. 2. To develop spatial thinking that may involve knowledge in orientation, scale, symmetry, and similar concepts. This will help students in “understanding change over space versus change over time and recognizing as understanding change over space versus change over time and recognizing patterns in data” (Schultz et al 2008, 27) . 3. To present the means in which the geospatial technology is applied in certain branches of science that are of vital importance to society and the country. 4. To teach students the importance of GIS, RS and GPS in enriching their learning experience in Social Studies and History, especially because events “occur not only in time, but in space, and expanding spatial understandings literally gives more dimension to simple historical understanding” (Alibrandi & Baker 2008, 8). III. Resources Needed Due to the obvious fact that teaching geospatial technology to K-12 students requires advanced resources too, it may be necessary to procure computers and the appropriate software. Schools are expected to have computers already though. Therefore what would be needed would be certain software for RS, GIS, and GPS. These software varieties may be available online already, which is why it is also imperative that the computers used for instruction should be connected to the internet. Using the internet-based maps or web maps can be considered as a good start because these do meet the requirements in teaching geospatial technology and, at the same time provide teachers with instant geographic solutions to student questions and academic needs (Baker 2005, 45). Other resources that will be needed are as follows: 1. History and Social Studies textbooks corresponding to the grade level of the students being taught. 2. Printed maps or a globe 3. Software that may need to be installed to the computers that would be ...
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