04-Nov-2002 -- Greetings! We planned today's confluence visit to coincide with the 106th Annual STANYS Conference for science teachers in New York State that is held every November. We will be giving presentations about using GPS receivers and mapping software in schools at both the STANYS and NYSCATE conferences this month. You can learn more about the conferences, and the organizations that sponsor them, at the websites linked below:
STANYS – Science Teachers Association of New York State
NYSCATE – New York State Association for Computers & Technology in Education
My co-presenters at STANYS are Jim Kuhl from the Central Square Middle School, David Thon from the Appleby Elementary School in Marathon, and Dr. Jack Narayan, Dean of Graduate Studies at the State University of New York at Oswego. At NYSCATE, Mark Potter and Gerry Hudson from the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown (APW) school district will join me as co-presenters. All of us are exploring the use of GPS technology for instruction in K-12 schools. We are creating activities that can be used for lessons in math, science, social studies, physical education, and technology education classes.
The presentations we give always include a discussion of The Degree Confluence Project. Teachers learn how they can use the information and photos from confluence visits for geography activities in the classroom. Both confluence visit reporting and geocaching are presented as models that teachers can modify for hands-on, collaborative, and inquiry-based lessons. Teachers will create the same kind of activities done by adult participants, but without traveling off school property. It sure would be more fun to take students on GPS field trips, of course, but it’s far too expensive.
Our experiences using GPS with students can be found at the NYGPS mailing list homepage. The NYGPS website was created in October 2001, and we now have more than 230 members. If you're an educator, please join our group and make use of the resources. Members are encouraged to post questions to the list community, describe successful experiences and lessons, and share their teaching materials and favorite websites. Keep in mind that these items are only available to list members. Follow the process on the website to "join this group", and the post a message to introduce yourself. You'll be in good company. We members who are teachers, college faculty, professional geographers, and experts in the GPS-GIS industry, too! NYGPS Mailing List
We look forward to visiting many more degree confluences, and to sharing your wonderful site with teachers all across New York State and around the world. Thank you for all your hard work in making this project such a great success. It’s wonderful tool for students and teachers to explore geography!