. "8 An Assessment of GIS as a System for Supporting Spatial Thinking in the K-12 Context." Learning to Think Spatially: GIS as a Support System in the K-12 Curriculum. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2006.
Windows (Idrisi Kilimanjaro): Pentium III or faster PC computer, 128+ MB RAM, minimum XGA (1024 × 768) graphics resolution with 64,000+ colors, running Windows XP/2000/NT4/ME/98/95, 600 MB hard drive space for Idrisi software and data
Windows (ArcView 8.3): Pentium III or faster PC computer, 128+ MB RAM (recommend 256+), running Windows 2000/NT4/XP, 1 GB or more hard drive space for ArcView software and data
Windows (ArcView 3.3): PC computer, Pentium (recommend Pentium III or better), with 32+ MB physical RAM (recommend 64+), running Windows 95 or higher, 200+ MB hard drive space for ArcView software and data
Macintosh (ArcView 3.0a): G3, G4, or iMac computer, with 32+ MB physical RAM (recommend 64+ MB RAM), running MacOS 7.1 or higher, 200+ MB hard drive space for ArcView software and data
trators and teachers. In such an atmosphere, teachers are under pressure to prepare their students for these tests and often feel that they cannot add GIS (or anything else) to the curriculum because it will take time away from essential test preparation tasks. It is imperative, therefore, that we find out whether GIS—in fact, all support systems for spatial thinking—enhance student learning across the curriculum. Thus, the committee advocates that a rigorous study be undertaken by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Educational Sciences to determine whether or not the use of GIS in primary and secondary schools improves academic achievement across the curriculum.
Another issue for teachers is the increasing amount of time taken up with out-of-class responsibilities such as individual education plans, record keeping, conferences with guidance counselors and social workers, and student evaluations. These responsibilities consume nonteaching hours and leave little time for learning GIS or other support systems and for developing appropriate instructional applications. If GIS is to be implemented in school classrooms, teachers will need release time for training and curriculum development. Thus, a supportive professional development structure is essential if teachers are going to be able to incorporate GIS into their classrooms.
The concept of school infrastructure includes physical components such as school buildings, classroom configuration, computer labs, computer software and hardware, local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), and the Internet, as well as other technology support systems such as printers, scanners, and multimedia stations. It can also include nonstructural and intangible components such as technology support structures, school scheduling, and professional development practices and procedures. Because there are so many variations, it is difficult to generalize about school infrastructure. Thus, it is also difficult to generalize about the school infrastructure needed for the implementation of GIS.
A decade ago, problems related to the physical components of infrastructure were a major obstacle to the implementation of GIS in many schools; there were problems such as inadequate wiring for computer use and Internet access and lack of adequate computers to run the software programs. Although these physical infrastructural problems have not completely disappeared, they