High-school seniors and teachers participating in the Geospatial Semester program through James Madison University in Virginia are using geographic information systems, or GIS, technology to study real-world issues, an approach that some say could transform project-based learning in K-12 schools. The GIS technology, a combination of databases and maps, allows students to strengthen skills -- such as pattern recognition, critical thinking and spatial analysis -- as they study such issues as social uprisings in developing countries.

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