Geospatial Online Learning Activities for Middle School Students. Information Age Publishing, 2008. Website abstract bibtex
Federal, state and local government agencies need to provide more age appropriate web content to the growing number of young web users. Instead of redesigning existing websites and making them more accessible to students, special web portals for young visitors need to be created. The GeoVISTA Center at the Pennsylvania State University developed such a web portal (named MapStats for Kids) and a set of five geospatial online learning activities for the federal government statistics website (fedstats.gov). The online learning activities teach middle school students about how to use statistical summaries and their graphic representations for a range of special topics. The content of the learning activities is closely related to the National Geography Standards and the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. All online learning activities and the web portal were tested on their usability before the release. Teachers, media specialists, parents and students were part of the evaluation process that allowed designing these novel and age appropriate learning activities. The MapStats for Kids web portal on the FedStats website receives an average of 300 visitors per day.