As a geography instructor, I have in the recent past witnessed a great deal of change in the increased use of technology, which affects students’ learning and building their spatial thinking. I strongly believe that exposing students to contemporary geographical tools is a must. I feel that it is my responsibility and duty to better prepare them to enter the professional world where, sooner than later, they will encounter a need for geographic information systems (GIS). During the fall 2010 semester, I tried my best to bring an awareness of GIS to the nongeographers enrolled in my 300-level regional study course of the United States. This course is open to students coming from different backgrounds, such as history, finance, and global affairs. Although these students expected a classical style lecture, mandatory GIS lab sessions were included in the syllabus. Through supervised and accessible exercises the nongeographers have been exposed to a deeper and more contemporary learning tool, and more important, I got their full participation and generated a genuine interest.
Submitted by Patricia Boudinot, instructor, Geography and Geoinformation Science