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COVID-19 Updates: CCAPS and the University

Infuse Spatial Thinking into Your Curriculum

60 minutes
Oral Presentation

What do maps have to do with storytelling? Everything! Come learn how Story Maps, a powerful digital platform, integrates spatial thinking with storytelling to present information in a compelling, interactive and easy-to-understand format. Story Maps are multidisciplinary applications that require students and instructors to move past a basic text-based project with an instructor as the only audience, to one that requires exploration of multiple means of demonstrating their knowledge, incorporating visuals, spatial information and relationships and digital delivery. Creating a Story Map requires students to think in multiple dimensions of pursuing creative storytelling, combined with innovative use of geospatial technology. Students are given the opportunity to not only apply spatial thinking to their course content, but also by creating Story Maps, they demonstrate their knowledge and understanding in an innovative media that moves students into 21st-century learning technologies. These geospatial technologies are accessible at many levels of learning, from K−12 to higher education, to novice and expert, and can be applied to all subject areas. Determine whether spatial thinking is appropriate for your curriculum. Identify geospatial technology resources available to incorporate spatial thinking in curriculum. Understanding which spatial technology resources are available for your institution.

Topic Area(s): Digital Learning Resources; Effective Teaching Practices; Learner Engagement Strategies; Open Education Resources; Student Success


Kate Carlson is a Spatial Technology Consultant at U-Spatial, a university-wide center that supports spatial research. She has considerable experience in higher education as faculty and research associate, leading students through geospatial curriculum in the class and abroad. Carlson has also applied her skills at the nonprofit and city/county government levels.