Humanities & Social Sciences Teaching and Research Using Maps and Spatial Data

This workshop presents a rare opportunity for faculty and staff to explore the potential of spatial thinking to improve pedagogy. The past few years have seen an explosion in free, easy to use, web applications that approach the power and flexibility of traditional Geographic Information Systems. As a result, scholars from across the academic spectrum have employed these tools to enable them and their students to pursue research questions from a spatial analysis perspective. Guided by three experts with deep knowledge of tools and techniques for integrating web mapping across multiple disciplines, participants will engage in a sequence of collaborative learning activities that will:

  • Build literacy and skills in spatial thinking and digital cartography
  • Clarify faculty teaching and research interests that would benefit from a geospatial approach
  • Foster intra- and inter-institutional teamwork, and
  • Explore project development and support options.

Alex Chaucer

GIS Instructional Technologist, Skidmore College

Mike Winiski

Associate Director, Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), Furman University

As Associate Director of Furman's Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), Mike collaborates with faculty to design courses and assignments as well as identify and shape technologies to support strategic and course learning goals. He also teaches interdisciplinary courses including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), First Year Seminars, and E-merging Learning Technologies and supports spatial learning initiatives across the campus. In consultations with faculty and students, through the technology and writing center (the StudioLab), CTL strives to support a community of instructional and technology innovation through experimentation and critical and skeptical evaluation of technology. Campus Technology Magazine recently awarded Furman with the technology innovator award in Interactive, Remote, Learning for the collaborative project between Professor Lloyd Benson's Urban History class, Computing and Information Services, and CTL. Another joint project to implement a bio-organic wiki, in which students are solely responsible for creating their own textbook, was recently recognized through the Innovision Technology Awards. Mike programs and has recently been using Python for creating visualizations for teaching. He's also in the home stretch of his second masters--this one in GIS.