FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University, as part of its Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology (PT3) grant, is hosting a three-day series of training events on Geographic Information System (GIS) software for faculty and teachers, May 2-4.
FMU is the first university in the state to provide training in “Mapping Our World: GIS Lessons for Educators,” a new, complete resource for educators seeking to bring GIS technology into the classroom.
GIS is mapping software that links information about where things are with information about what things are like. Unlike with a paper map, where “what you see is what you get,” a GIS map can combine many layers of information.
The software is used to help people take data about an area and understand it better, whether they are trying to find the best location for a new store, analyze environmental damage, view similar crimes in a city to detect a pattern, examine data related to forestry, or figure out the solutions to problems related to city planning. Currently, 25 percent of the available jobs requiring GIS training go unfilled.
According to Michael Madden of FMU’s School of Education, incorporating GIS in the classroom helps learners of all ages master a more sophisticated understanding of geography, while meeting the national geography and technology standards and promoting critical thinking skills essential for PACT testing.
From a student perspective, it also opens up new career possibilities they may not have previously considered that can lead to high-paying positions.
Anita Palmer, a nationally renowned GIS trainer, will be at FMU to lead the hands-on experience. Currently, all sessions are booked. However, individuals interested in participating in future training events may contact Jane Madden at 843-661-1230 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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