Advances in technology are changing the way we look at the world; they’re also changing the way we learn about it.Developed by the faculty of the Learning and Technologies Dept. at the University of Minnesota, GeoThentic is built around geospatial technologies such as geographic information systems (GIS) and is designed to provide an immersive online learning environment that can assist K-12 students in meeting all of the National Geography Standards.
GIS technology, which is at the heart of this software, allows users to visualize geographic trends, patterns and relationships in the form of maps and charts. Integrated with GeoThentic and Google Earth, it creates a scaffolded learning environment in which students solve authentic complex problems.
Currently, the software offers five modules: Build a Hospital, Global Climate Change, Avian Flu, Build a Stadium and Population Density.
Within these modules, students play the role of a geographer, taking advantage of various digital resources and data to determine, for instance, where the best place is in San Francisco to build a hospital, or which U.S. states will be most impacted by population growth and decline by the year 2100.