As always, design activities which engage students in critical thinking using a series of maps,tables, and charts. Even if they are not involved in producing the maps, graphics, or data, studentsshould still be able to identify noteworthy patterns.And, as with any materials enduring significant handling, display maps under protective covers --lamination or even just transparent open-edge sheet covers. Protecting such creations will increasetheir long-term value and make it easier for students to do more thorough examination.Finally, having spent time creating GIS projects which meet special needs, be sure to save theseprojects. Storage space for a project is small.
CREATING CARTOGRAPHIC CLIPART
While some teachers have focused on using hardcopy output to put GIS into students' hands,others have constructed electonic versions of outputs. The images become, effectively, "clip art"for use in all manner of projects.The procedure is very straightforward. Create a map display with the desired data, then eitherexport the map to a file or use third party screen capture software to grab the desired image. Screencapture software is especially useful for creating images which carry legend information, focusingon just one portion of the screen, or ensuring a WYSIWYG output.In creating such clip art, it is important to bear in mind the potential uses. Clean and simpledisplays are adaptable to multiple uses. Make sure that there is some indication about the nature of the data, so that users and viewers can know something about the value and quality of the datawithout having to do elaborate investigation.Clip art can be used powerfully by distributing the images to multiple computers. The receivingstations need not be particularly powerful -- just capable of viewing images of the defined format.With the rise of the World Wide Web, GIF images are now particularly common. With powerfulimages requiring perhaps only 25-50 kb each, a single floppy may hold a few dozen images, andstill have enough space so that "section heading" images can be included as well. These imagescan be stored using sequential naming schemes, for use in "slideshow" or screensaver software, orto construct animated GIF images, to create a sort of movie.Production of multimedia portfolios containing GIS-based images can be powerfully enhancedthrough the use of clip art. Packages such as HyperStudio (by Roger Wagner), Powerpoint (byMicrosoft), and a host of others can be used by both teachers and students to create integratedlearning activities that can run on modestly-powered stations, and which can often cross from oneplatform to another without problem.Again, having spent time creating GIS projects which meet special needs, be sure to save theseprojects. Storage space for a project is cheap.Techniques for Using GIS in the Classroom, page 2
Copyright © 1997, Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.