Bernie Dodge, PhD
Office: NE-288 | Blog

GPS, Google Maps and Google Earth as Tools for Teaching

The number of location-based tools and resources continues to grow exponentially. Learn to create lessons involving: maps in the study of literature, history, culture and climate; travel bugs; place puzzles; geocoded images; GPS enhanced nature studies and field trips.  Meets April 11 & April 25.    Schedule # 01027



As a recent survey shows, young Americans have a lot to learn about geography. This course is designed to be practical, current, interesting, empowering and thought-provoking. It is built around active learning and collaborative thinking. When we're done, you'll have created a lesson plan that makes use of this technology and developed insights that will enable you to design additional GPS experiences for your classroom.


This course is targeted at teachers at the K-12 and college levels. Basic familiarity with internet use is assumed. No prior experience with GPS needed.

Learning Outcomes

In this course you will learn how to

  • identify opportunities in your curriculum which can be enhanced through the use of geographical tools
  • use a GPS receiver to locate yourself in terms of latitude and longitude
  • create interactive maps and 3-D tours to convey location-based information
  • design a plan for a lesson or informal learning experience that uses GPS and mapping technology


A growing list of course-related links is available and will be maintained after the course is over.

In addition, here are some blogs you might want to follow:



Course Outline

Session 1: April 11, 2009


  • Explore the postings in the GPS in Education Forum, the links in Bernie's account (Google Earth and Google Maps) and the blogs listed at the bottom left of this page.
  • If you have access to a GPS receiver, go find another cache on your own. Here's an easy one nearby.
  • Bring something to contribute to the class geocache, and a second thing to serve as your personal Travel Bug. See what happened to Joe Hartman's bug from our class in Fall 2004.
  • Draft a map-based lesson or experience that makes use of geotools

Session 2: April 25, 2009


Project Due : May 1, 2009

Google Earth view of SDSU