Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Report on our GPS Class!

From Laura our wonderful GPS class teacher:

Last night I taught my first Seattle Free School class, "Introduction to GPS" at the Green Lake Library. There was a good showing of attendees--somewhere between 15 and 20 people showed up. Many already owned GPSs and brought them along, while a few people were seeking more information before buying. There was a lot of information (perhaps too much) crammed into the hour and a half session. I tried to touch on three main areas where a GPS can be useful: planning ahead, collecting data, and helping with
navigation.

As for hands-on practice, people with GPSs practiced making a waypoint for their current location, making a waypoint for a different location by inputting latitude and longitude, and asking the GPS to route them to that location. Lots of other topics got touched on, including ways to customize your GPS, how to move data back and forth between your GPS and your computer, and care and feeding of your GPS. I tried to introduce GPS terminology so we could all share the vocabulary to talk about this bit of technology.

I think the class will be smoother once I more fully develop the curriculum for intermediate and advanced classes so I don't try to cram so much into the Intro class. But it seemed helpful, and I hope everyone learned something.

2 comments:

Stevewoo said...

Thanks Laura for a very informative session that seemed to fly by. We could have gone another hour easy, but guess maybe it will just take another class. You provided a great context to explore my Zumo and I uncovered some things that I thought were there but had never been able to find. For sure I will be looking at my tracks and waypoints from now on. Yep - a very cool video game... ~Steve

Anonymous said...

Message from Ryan received via email:
I attended the GPS class and found it very informative. The only thing lacking was additional time. It would of been nice to have some time for Q&A at the end, specifically for our individual units. I would love to see an intermediate class some time later in the spring or summer after having a chance to play with and use our toys.