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Good Bye Maps Hello Apps: Enabling Teachers, and Learners to Engage in Geography Subjects Through Smartphone Apps

Authors: Dawna Cerney*, Youngstown State University, Lynn Moorman, Mount Royal University, Dianna Gielstra, National American University, Ellen Foster, University of Mississippi, Niccole Cerveny , Mesa Community College
Topics: Geography Education, Tourism Geography, Communication
Keywords: Smartphone Apps, Geographic Education, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality K-12, GeoCamp
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2020
Start / End Time: 10:15 AM / 11:30 AM
Room: Virtual Track 1
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Evolving technologies continue to influence student expectations, interests and study habits. Those new technologies manifest new teaching methods for geography. Smartphone Apps host intriguing opportunities to help students and the general public learn geographic features, environmental conditions and geographic principles with technology that is accessible, affordable, and comfortable. Navigation, field guide, and tourism Smartphone Apps are efficacious in layering information to guide travel, identify unfamiliar features and to learn specific subject matter. National Council for Geographic Education Geocamp Iceland offers a venue to field test a tourism and field guide App as an engaged teaching tool. The App provides individuals with text, graphics, and imagery to explore physical and cultural landscapes. An on-site, accessible view of individual features deepen the user’s knowledge of the landscape, building awareness and understanding of complex Icelandic geography and geographic principles. Strategically positioned maps, photographs, figures, and facts within the App help guide user to investigate travel options. The user can create themes to explore as much, or as little, of the areas of interest as desired. The App information is combined with 360-degree images and education lessons so that the Icelandic field geography experience is exported into the participant’s classroom for student engagement and reinforcement. Feedback indicates App features including Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality use by teachers ranging from Elementary School through to Post-Secondary Education will be adopted. Additional utility includes use of information exported from the App into world regional and Physical geography classes through to the use of GIS technology.

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