Teaching with GeoPads

Field geology is benefiting greatly from digital technologies of all kind. In particular, the use of ruggedized laptop and palmtop computers with integrated GPS, GIS, data management, and note-taking software presents a fundamentally new way to map and collect other data in the field. This combination of integrated technologies, generically called a "GeoPad", can offer exciting avenues in teaching field geology and geologic mapping. Be part of the growing community that is using these exciting new capabilities to support teaching and learning in the field.
Bowling Green State University Geology Field Camp. Details

What is the Purpose of this Site?

This site is designed to help teachers and students effectively and effeciently use GeoPads in field-based instructional and research activities. This site provides practical advice on selecting software and hardware, accessing and formatting data, and designing and implementing instructional activities. In addition, "best instructional practices" in using GeoPads are described, including learning goals, expected outcomes, and assessment strategies.

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Why Use GeoPads?

GeoPads provide a fundamentally new way to engage students with learning in the field by creating a learning environment that integrates mapping, note taking, and visualization applications. By using GeoPads in the field, students can make better informed decisions by accessing and integrating information from a variety of complementary sources.

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Who is this Site For?

This website is designed to help novice users set up and use GeoPads in a variety of instructional or professional settings. This site contains step-by-step instructions, supporting documentation, and advice from current users on "best practices" in teaching with GeoPads.

Learn more about programs currently using GeoPads

How to Use GeoPads

This site is designed to help teachers and students set up and start using GeoPads. You'll find a wealth of information on selection of hardware and software systems, preparations required of students and faculty to effectively use GeoPads, and related practical advice on logistics.

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Learning Goals and Outcomes

This site provides information about learning goals and outcomes for using GeoPads. Careful consideration of the level of mastery of concepts, content knowledge, and skills required of students to successfully complete field exercises using GeoPads will lead to better learning experiences for the students.

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Teaching with GeoPads

Annotating a digital photo in OneNote. Details

These web pages are designed to aid instructors in teaching with GeoPads. Information includes mapping, taking notes, mobile classrooms, and real-time collaboration. Also included are example general field exercises using GeoPads.

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About this Project

This module was developed to aggregate and organize the resources and practical experiences of the innovators who are on the first wave of users of this exciting new technology (List of Participants). The "GeoPad Writing Group" elected to take joint responsibility for authoring the webpages in this module; all participants shared freely of their experience and materials through this collective effort. Thanks to all for their many contributions to this project! This is one of many explorations in ways to use information technologies to support integration of research and education. This project was developed as part of the DLESE Community Services Center, with funding from the National Science Foundation (EAR 03-06708).


The goal of this workshop was to create an on-line resource that can effectively help the geoscience community understand the potential and benefits of using GeoPads, and to develop teaching methods using GeoPads. Workshop information includes workshop goals, the workshop schedule, and list of participants.

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