GIS/GPS WebQuest

You have been hired as a computer science teacher in a large high school. You plan to take over the outgoing computer science instructor's programming, web design, and multimedia courses. One week before the first day of school, an administrators gives you a list of courses assigned to you for the year. Much to your surprise, you are scheduled to teach an introductory GIS/GPS course! Having no background in geospatial technologies, you immediately head to the Internet to find resources to get the semester started. After all, school starts in one week! The school owns no textboooks for this type of course; so, all materials will have to come from the Internet.

Gain a general understanding of GIS & GPS technologies, compile a list of practical online resources, and prepare a multimedia presentation that you will use on the first day of school to introduce your students to geospatial technologies.

This WebQuest is for individual work, so each student should do their own research and create their own presentation.

Follow these steps to successfully complete this WebQuest, using only the websites listed in the "Resources" section below:

  1. Go to the website, navigate to the "Support & Tutorials" section, click on "CAST Resources," and explore the introductory information about GIS & GPS..
  2. Find a good, concise explanation of what GIS & GPS really are. Save this for the introduction to your multimedia presentation!
  3. Familiarize yourself with the basic GIS terminology.
  4. Compile a list of the most popular GIS software and GPS devices used by both consumers and professionals.
  5. Research careers involving GIS & GPS.
  6. Find examples of projects involving geospatial technologies (GIS & GPS). Do not limit yourself to the EAST website. Look beyond the educational realm into the corporate and industrial worlds as well as other non-profit areas.
  7. Use the results of your research to create a multimedia presentation (PowerPoint presentation or Dreamweaver website) designed to introduce a class of high school students to geospatial technologies on the first day of school. Create a slide/page for each of the following::
    • Concise, easy-to-understand definition of geospatial technologies (GIS & GPS).
    • Examples of what exactly can be accomplished using geospatial technologies.
    • Careers involving GIS/GPS, to show students that this course is applicable beyond high school.
    • List with descriptions of software and hardware to be used in the class. (You pick what you think is needed!)
    • Links to outstanding websites that the students will be using during the semester. (You may use Google for this.)
  8. You will present your "Introduction to Geospatial Technologies" multimedia package to the class as if you were the instructor of a high school GIS/GPS course. (See calendar for dates of presentations)
Your research and presentation will be evaluated using this rubric.

Upon completion of this WebQuest, you should be able to respond effectively to the following questions:

  1. What are GIS and GPS?
  2. How are they interrelated?
  3. How can geospatial technologies be applied to EAST service projects? What about in the business world?
  4. What are some good online resources for developing skills in geospatial technologies?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you be successful in implementing geospatial technologies in EAST service projects.