Web-based GIS for middle school teachers: Using online mapping applications to promote teacher adoption
Jung Eun Hong, University of Colorado at Boulder, United States
University of Colorado at Boulder . Awarded
One factor underlying the use of information and communications technologies (ICT) in schools is the interest and willingness of teachers to learn and adopt these technologies in their teaching. Previous studies of geographic information systems (GIS), as one type of ICT, indicate that the lack of teacher training is one of the key barriers to adoption. This project addresses this issue by employing a user-centered design (UCD) methodology to plan, design, and develop teacher-centered and teacher-friendly web-based GIS training materials for middle school social studies teachers. This three-step method involved a user needs analysis, tutorial development, and evaluation. The user needs analysis used semi-structured interviews to collect input from 23 teachers. They made suggestions about the tutorial topics, their scope and activities, as well as the types of help the teachers would like to have available. The tutorial development step also involved 23 participants. They made a variety of suggestions about content, formats, and terminology. The final versions of the training tutorials were published on the web and evaluated by 55 participants. Of the 55, 11 teachers reported that they implemented web-based GIS technologies in their classrooms with students. The teachers rated the tutorials positively but also made suggestions about factors that might help them adopt GIS more readily, such as context-sensitive help and tutorials designed specifically for teachers with varying levels of ICT ability. This suggests that although the current project, within the limitations of its methodology, was able to address some of the barriers to adoption of ICT in schools, other issues still prevent greater classroom implementation of GIS technologies.
Hong, J.E. Web-based GIS for middle school teachers: Using online mapping applications to promote teacher adoption. Ph.D. thesis, University of Colorado at Boulder.
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