fredag den 2. oktober 2009

GIS Is Key to 21st Century Skills

Der er GIS i alt - vor tids teknologi har synliggjort dette for de fleste - så uanset hvad man arbejder med kan man kun blive bedre med GIS kundskaber ...

GIS is in everything - technology today has made it obvious for most - no matter what you work with you need GIS skills ...


Educational researchers and policymakers increasingly call for “21st Century skills.” What exactly are these skills, and why are they important for education? One advocacy organization focused on this is the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, which since 2002 has brought together business, education, and policy leaders to define these skills and indicate how they can be applied to education. These skills include information and communication, thinking, problem-solving, interpersonal and self-direction, global awareness, economic and business literacy, entrepreneurial, and civic literacy. The Partnership’s belief is that “every child in America needs 21st Century knowledge and skills to succeed as effective citizens, workers, and leaders” and that a gap exists between this knowledge and skill set and what students are currently learning in school.

Recently, diverse groups gathered to produce “skills maps” that connect these skills with specific content areas. Thus far, English, Social Studies, Science, and Geography skills maps have been completed. The National Council for Geographic Education formed a team, including NCGE members from ESRI, universities, and schools, to create the Geography Map [PDF]. Geotechnologies such as Geographic Information Systems, GPS, and Remote Sensing are prominently featured throughout this document. The reason why is that they can serve as powerful tools for spatial inquiry, fostering critical thinking skills about a host of issues from local to global—from natural hazards to population to invasive species, and beyond. Because GIS is a system, using it requires the ability to gather, manage, and make decisions based on real data in real contexts.

In an interview for the article, “New maps infuse 21st Century Skills”, I stated that geotechnologies help students “engage in spatial analysis and inquiry that will prepare them for today’s rapidly changing world.” For example, eighth-graders identify historic and contemporary migrant groups in their area, examine why migration occurs, investigate the changes that occur when people migrate, and present their findings.

It is our hope that these 21st Century skills maps encourage administrators and educators to infuse these skills into the curriculum to best prepare students for the future.

- Joseph Kerski, ESRI Education Manager

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