GIS in the classroom

Does GIS belong in the classroom? If so, how should it be taught?

I was thinking about this because of the news item in the Vancouver Sun about Nick Hedley's class which uses "augmented reality" tools:

As a specialist in geographic visualization and spatial cognition, Hedley developed an augmented reality tool designed to give students the ability to test their hypotheses and interact with the geography they're studying in a virtual environment.

The tool superimposes rendered images of three-dimensional graphics onto a view of the real world shown on a screen.

This sounds way beyond anything I had in the classroom and a lot of fun to boot.

Educators know though that learning should be more than fun. This new book, Learning to Think Spatially makes the case that geospatial learning revolves around 3 things: concepts of space (spatial data models I guess would be a GIS equivalent), spatial representation (maps and GIS); and spatial reasoning.

Here's the executive summary.

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