GPS for Museum Educators

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Information about GPS for Museum Educators

Published on January 13, 2009

Author: gr8esc



Ideas for how museum teachers can integrate GPS into teaching and learning.

GPS and its application to teaching outside the four walls of the classroom Jenny Barrett Breathe Technology [email_address]

What does GPS stand for? a) Global Positioning Standard b) Geographic Positioning System c) Global Positioning System d) Geographic Positioning System e) Great Practical Schoolwork Watch this video to find out

Introduction: how does GPS work? A How Stuff Works Video (

archaeologists historians genealogists cartographers Quote taken from US Geographical Society

Ideas for teaching and learning The technology - what I need? Getting started this Summer!

ideas for use in teaching and learning

Interacting with the environment The task: Armed with your "Guide to New Zealand trees" and your GPS device: a) Go to xx/xx and find a rimu tree. Draw a leaf. b) Go to xx/xx and find a ponga tree. Take a bark rubbing.

History of the local area The task: Students use the GPS references to go to sites where interesting events took place, perhaps in the order that they ocurred. They mark the events on a map and take photo s to later reconstruct the story.

History: old buildings The task: Students find the sites of old buildings - some may still be there but have different uses. They take photos of now and compare an d contrast with archived photos.

Citizenship: issues in the local community The task: choose an issue relevent to the local community such as river pollution as featured at a local museum. Students find evidence of pollution, note the coordinates and take samples, photos, reco rd their feelings etc. Set up a community project...and revisit the coordinates six months down the track...


Story telling The task: Using a GPS device that allows you to record points of interest or "waymarks", students create their own narrative of a field tri p. After, they create their own genuine story map, and with digital camer as and MP3 players can insert video and sounds. My trippermap

Just because...students like to move The task: Place clues, questions or activities in envelopes around the museum - and they can only be located using GPS

Numeracy...areas, averages, angles, distance, direction... The task: Where the area might be significant e.g. the size of a prison cell; where distance is significant e.g. how far the first settle rs had to carry water... Use the route recorder.

Contextualising language The task: Students use the GPS to navigate to a place where they find a clue to crack or a task to complete that will lead them to the Maori wo rd for what they are looking at. Easier to recall language if it is contextualised!




The technology Add-on GPS devices - attachments available for cameras / Bluetooth devices for phones and computers Built in - newer mobiles and cameras Simple handheld GPS - fix positions using co-ordinates, navigate along a set route, find a fixed point, interact with a digital m ap, record speed and distance data As above + software that will allow you to geotag photos, analyse and map data No GPS? You can still geotag media...using various online tools e.g. flickr








Learning: coordinates, narratives, descriptions, vegetation, stats, collaboration, contacts

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