GIS: A REDUCTIONIST APPROACH.
A GIS is a software package that links data to maps. When a change is made in the underlying database, a corresponding change results on the map. Also, when a change is made on the map, a corresponding change results in the database. Current GISs come with an on-board set of base map and data bases.
Learning Level 1 (LL1):
Learn how to use the on-board databases to make maps using the on-board set of base maps.
Learning Level 2 (LL2):
Students bring in a database and learn how to link it to maps in the GIS. Such linkage reduces the effort back to LLI where the skills learned at that level may now be applied to student-gathered data.
Learning Level 3 (LL3):
Students learn to bring in base maps and insert them in a GIS. Then, using the skills from LL2 they may link their own databases to their own base maps. Finally, all is once again reduced to LL1 and the skills learned there may be applied to make maps from student-gathered data and maps.
This sequence of reductions is a very broad view. There are numerous related skills that may be involved and these will be dealt with in response to need. Some related skills might include, but are not limited to:
How to save a map; its component files.
How to use a scanner.
How to draw on a map.
How to use an underlay.
How to do on-screen digitizing: the screen as a light table.
How to make animated maps.
How to make clickable maps.
How to use PhotoShop: web-page creation.
How to use Netscape: basic web-page design.
How to use DreamWeaver: fancy web-page effects