US: A joint effort from Esri Education manager Tom Baker and a research group of seven university faculty members was selected as the Best Article for Geography Program Development by the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE). Published in the Journal of Geography, the co-authored piece, entitled “A Research Agenda for Geospatial Technologies and Learning,” provides a blueprint for advancing the study of geospatial technology (GST) in relation to education and learning.
“Research that advances understanding from and in GST has long been sparse, so the methodology outlined in A Research Agenda for Geospatial Technologies and Learning is not only insightful, it’s also an innovative asset for future studies to come,” said Zachary Dulli, NCGE chief executive officer. “As a collaborative effort of interdisciplinary academia and experts in spatial cognition, the resultant agenda stands out for being mindful of objectivity and a multitude of approaches to instructing GST, constructing curriculum, professional development, and achieving learning.”
In addition to Baker, article contributors included Sarah Battersby of the University of South Carolina, Sarah W. Bednarz of Texas A&M University, Alec M. Bodzin of Lehigh University, Bob Kolvoord of James Madison University, Steven Moore of the University of Redlands, Diana Sinton of Cornell University, and David Uttal of Northwestern University.
“All the authors sincerely appreciate this acknowledgement from the National Council for Geographic Education,” Tom Baker said. “Geospatial tools evolve rapidly, and our knowledge of learning processes with these tools needs to grow just to keep pace.”
Because of limited understanding regarding learning and GST, the agenda calls for a broad framework that is both systematic and replicable. Forthcoming studies should be evidence based, draw upon relevant theory, accurately describe the steps involved, connect concept and evidence, and apply to a range of settings and populations.
“Only cross-disciplinary, dynamic, and concerted research efforts will shed much-needed light on how we perceive, organize, understand, and communicate while learning with geospatial tools,” Baker said. “We believe this agenda is one of the first significant steps in that direction and hope it encourages more researchers to incorporate the agenda in their future work.”
NCGE will acknowledge the article contributors on Saturday, July 30 during its annual National Conference on Geography Education taking place in Tampa, Florida.