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Computer Literature

Books on the latest software programs for technology directors and IT staff

Bringing the Outside into the classroom: GIS Makes Connections for Students

In Raleigh, N.C., sixth- through eighth-graders at Martin Middle School learn about neat stuff--Geographic Information Systems. And they're using GIS in the classroom as a tool.

"It [GIS] really is all around them," says teacher Barbaree Ash Duke. "Students will say, 'I saw a map in the newspaper and it looked just like the GIS in class.' ... You see things all over and that makes a good connection for kids. This is a skill that kids may need to know, like desktop publishing was to my generation."

The GPS software on the book's companion CD-ROM represents a complex database of information that students use to find facts about the world's largest cities, for example, quickly and easily, so they can then use time on more complex problems, Duke says. "The map is already there, and then they can move on to higher-level thinking skills," she says. "That's the big buzzword in education now."

Duke says she first met the author, Marsha Alibrandi, when she took a course on "GIS in Education" at North Carolina State University a few years ago. Alibrandi was teaching the course. Duke, who is now Alibrandi's assistant, says the book offers a "sort of road map" to some basic concepts of GIS in the classroom. The companion CD-ROM has activities that include puzzles, scavenger hunts and Web sites that offer answers to questions. "It's pushing kids to analyze where they should put a daycare center," she says. "It's really neat."

Artech House Publishers

Introduction to GPS: The Global Positioning System $59.00

With more than 75 illustrations, this hardcover book is a good resource using timely and easy-to-understand ideas of GPS without using advanced mathematics.

It addresses all aspects of GPS, emphasizes its applications, examines the its signal structure and covers key types of measurement being used in the field now.

This book also includes in-depth focus on the errors and biases that affect GPS measurements and steps in overcoming them.

Heinemann Publishers

GIS In the Classroom $18.00

Author Marsha Alibrandi describes how educators try to reframe social studies for the new century to address conditions that impact adolescents and education--showing how geographic information systems can teach social studies and environmental education.

She points out how GIS allows students to explore and question information. Students can use this system to test water quality where pollution impacted local shellfish beds and develop a profile of cities during pre- and post-Civil Rights era by interviewing black adults who had attended their school.

The Mountaineers Books

GPS Made Easy: Third Edition $14.95

Maps, charts, graphs are big in this book, which explains how GPS works for beginners to advanced users. It features all common receivers, gives practical examples of GPS use in the outdoors, how to use it with maps and in rough terrain, and offers clear language and illustrations that demystify GPS.

Author Lawrence Letham takes readers through deserts, hiking trips in the snowy Rocky Mountains, on sea kayaking trips and sailing vessels, as well as using GPS receivers on personal computers for map databases and moving maps.

The Globe Pequot Press Publishers

Basic Essentials: Global Positioning Systems $7.95

This 50-page book is for the novice or veteran discovering how to leave an electronic trail to find a way back to their starting point; store the coordinate addresses of important locations; and navigate the GPS market.

Springer-Verlag Wien

New York's GPS Theory and Practice $66.95

This book shows how GPS works and accommodates the most recent advances in GPS technology. It explains the latest applications in surveying, navigation and attitude determination. It reveals descriptions of project planning, observation and data processing for novice GPS users.