Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Advancing Teachers’ Geospatial TPACK in Fully Online Environments

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Participate and share : Poster

Dr. Jonah Firestone  
Douglas Leeson  
Danielle Malone  
Dr. Kate Popejoy  

Learn how a distributed team of university and high school personnel conducted a sequence of professional development and curriculum development activities to enhance their geospatial technological pedagogical content knowledge (Gs-TPACK). Teachers’ outcomes were evaluated through work samples and measurement on a Gs-TPACK scale.

Audience: Teacher education/higher ed faculty, Curriculum/district specialists, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: None.
Topic: Teacher education
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: Science, Social studies
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
For Education Leaders:
Visionary Planner
  • Engage education stakeholders in developing and adopting a shared vision for using technology to improve student success, informed by the learning sciences.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Starting with the publication of the National Council for Geography Education’s Geography for Life standards in 1994, advocates have called for teachers to integrate geospatial tools into their classroom instruction. Geospatial technologies such as geographic information systems (GIS) are essential tools to studying our world and the challenges of the 21st century, such as climate change, migration, and resource management.

Until very recently, however, most teachers did not have access to tools such as GIS; even teachers who had access to GIS faced a daunting task of learning the complex technology and figuring out how to integrate it into their curriculum and their day-to-day teaching.

For the past five years, we have engaged in a series of collaborations with schools in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Texas, and Washington to assist teachers in mastering geospatial tools and integrating them into their curricular instruction. We have conducted professional development (in both face-to-face and online-only) formats to help teachers learn the technologies, explore different approaches to geospatial teaching, and build curriculum-aligned lessons that engage their students by exploring local issues, incorporate authentic data collection, and feature inquiry-driven learning. We have a curriculum development model that we follow (socio-environmental science investigations, or SESI--see Hammond et al., 2019) and a proven professional development sequence (see Hammond et al., 2018).

This poster will present a summary of teacher outcomes from our work during the first year of our current grant. This work took place entirely online, starting in the summer of 2020. The targeted outcome, teachers’ knowledge of geospatial technology integration, will be examined in two ways: analysis of teacher work products (maps, story maps, data collectors) and pre- and posttest results of the geospatial technological pedagogical content knowledge (Gs-TPACK) survey.

At the end of the session, our participants will be able to:
1. Identify an appropriate instrument for measuring teachers’ geospatial technological pedagogical content knowledge (Gs-TPACK).
2. Identify and explain the SESI model for professional development and curriculum development.
3. Locate and describe teacher-produced geospatial teaching materials (maps, story maps, data collectors).

All materials will be accessible to attendees, including our training materials and samples of teachers’ classroom materials.

Our work has been supported by a sequence of grants from the National Science Foundation. Teacher outcomes on the Gs-TPACK scale in our previous grant (DRL-1614216) were very strong, with all teachers improving their Gs-TPACK and adopting a wide variety of geospatial teaching practices (see Hammond et al., 2018). Work in our current grant (DRL-1949400) is on-going, with five teachers in the Philadelphia area and seven in the Tri-Cities region of Washington state.

Supporting research

Bodzin, A., Peffer, T., & Kulo, V. (2012). The efficacy of educative curriculum materials to support geospatial science pedagogical content knowledge. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 20(4), 361–386. Brown, M. W. (2009).

Hammond, T.C., Bodzin, A., Anastasio, D., Holland, B., Popejoy, K., & Sahagian, D. (2018). “You know you can do this, right?”: Developing geospatial technological pedagogical content knowledge (GS-TPACK) and enhancing teachers’ cartographic behaviors with Socio-Environmental Science Investigations (SESI). Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 45, 305-318.

Hammond, T.C., Bodzin, A., Anastasio, D., Holland, B., Popejoy, K., & Sahagian, D. (2019). Shoulder-to-shoulder: Teacher professional development and curriculum design and development for geospatial technology integration with science and social studies teachers. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 19(2), 279-301.

More [+]


Dr. Jonah Firestone, Washington State University
Douglas Leeson, Lehigh University
Danielle Malone, Washington State University
Dr. Kate Popejoy, Popejoy STEM, LLC

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