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GEOGRAPHY

Integrating Geographic Information Systems (GIS) into Wisconsin Public Schools
by Jim Brey, Associate Professor of Geography/Geology, UW-Fox Valley, and
Diane Pillard, Director of Continuing Education and Extended Services, UW Colleges

While Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is rapidly gaining importance, few teacher education and certification programs currently include GIS as part of their curricula. Thus, there have been few opportunities for K-12 classroom teachers to acquire an understanding of GIS, its uses, and how to integrate it into an existing, standards-based curriculum. However, through UW System grant funding and the cooperation of several UW System institutions and partners, a group of Wisconsin K-12 teachers received GIS training in the summer of 2000 and developed projects to integrate it into their curricula. (Feb. 2001)

Virtual Field Trips: Just Like Being There
Professor Michael Ritter
Department of Geography, UW-Stevens Point

Professor Ritter has used a of a variety of teaching and learning technologies during the last ten years. He has recently published Earth Online: an Internet Guide for Earth Science, the first book of its kind, and is an active participant of the NSF sponsored Virtual Geography Department project. In his introductory physical geography course at UW-Stevens Point, he uses the web extensively, distributing lecture materials, on-line assignments, lab answer keys, providing virtual field trips, and communicating with students. 

Internet Resources in Geography Assignments
Donald Rambadt, Lecturer
Department of Geography, UW-Whitewater

ABSTRACT (with no feature article)
Professor Rambadt uses the Internet in several of his classes. In Global Perspectives, a class Rambadt, Jayati Ghosh, and John Patterson teach, students do an Internet-based research assignment and use population simulations developed at Virginia Technological University. This class is part of the National Science Foundation Funded Virtual Geography Department Project at the University of Texas, Austin. The Global Perspectives class home page is located at http://facstaff.uww.edu/rambadtd/globalp/opener.htm    Rambadt and Patterson also use the Web in their Field Studies class; from the Field Studies home page, http://facstaff.uww.edu/rambadtd/channel/Channel.htm, students can explore the use of Virtual Field Trips and access information about preparing for a foreign study experience. You can reach Donald Rambadt at rambadtd@uwwvax.uww.edu

Freshman Seminar Resources at UW-Marathon County
Professor Keith Montgomery
Department of Geology & Geography, UW-Marathon County

Professor Montgomery operates a freshman seminar whose format concentrates on almost entirely "skills" or "survival" courses.  The overall objectives of such courses generally include easing the transition to university for the student, academically and socially, and increasing student success and retention.   The Freshman Seminar at UW-Marathon County has been running now for five years in the fall semester and enrolls about one quarter of the incoming freshman in 5-6 one credit sections.  Students use a "Hyper Link" textbook in which some sections are linked to existing courses or programs where most, if not all of the students, are enrolled in both the seminar and the "regular" course.

The Teaching with Technology Today project consists of a web-based NEWSLETTER and WISLRNTEC, a companion listserv where members discuss technology, pedagogy, and student learning. TTT was instigated by the UW Learning Technology Development Council; it receives significant support from UW-Extension's Division of Continuing Education.