Source:  ArtPlantae Today  STEAM Journal Link

The focus on technology, plants and art this month has been both fun and stressful. How does one even begin to blend a discipline as ancient, traditional, moving and beautiful as botanical art with the bells, whistles and modern-day graphics of technology?

My mind has traveled in all sorts of directions.

Apps are easy to think about. Which apps do you use?

“Go outside” my brain said. Think sun, fresh air. Think adventure.
Get that GPS article!

That “GPS article” I am referring to is Backyard Botany: Using GPS Technology in the Science Classroom by Ph.D. candidate Kathryn A. March.

In her article, March shares how she has used Global Positioning System (GPS) units to teach students about plants in informal settings. Her paper is fantastic and I recommend it highly.

March incorporates GPS technology in plant-based learning activities for middle and high school students. In her paper she explains how GPS activities can help teachers address Standards and how they can address issues related to plant blindness. The lesson plan in March (2012) is an activity that calls upon students to create a field guide to trees.

Educators are given all the information they need to conduct this activity themselves. March (2012) provides a list of materials and background information, recommends procedures, suggests an assessment tool, suggests an alternative activity if you can’t afford GPS units and suggests many alternative lesson ideas — one of which involves navigating students to plants so they can draw what they see.

To obtain a copy of March’s article, purchase a copy from JSTOR ($14)
or visit your local college library.


Literature Cited

March, Kathryn A. 2012. Backyard botany: Using GPS technology in the science classroom. The American Biology Teacher. 74(3): 172-177.