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Thursday, February 19, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: GeoMakers, Open Source Educator Awards, GISP Process Changes

Authentic Learning Leads to Running and Crime Map 
A bit of the University of Maryland crime/running map.
Red means 2-3 crimes in a six month period using a
buffer around that segment.

I would not expect a kinesiology grad project to include the creation of a trail map as a final project, but that's what happened at the University of Maryland.
Brainstorming for the project began when [kinesiology professor Espen] Spangenburg instructed students enrolled in the kinesiology honors program to complete an honors assignment for his KNES455: Scientific Bases of Athletic Conditioning class. Duvall said that instead of writing a paper or giving a lecture, he wanted to work on a project that could have value to members of the community.
Best quote:
[Senior Greg] Duvall took the data the team collected and integrated it into a functional online map that he taught himself how to use.
Access is via KMZ and pdf. More details on the map's development and data are in a departmental article.  Among the data sources cited on the PDF: "the GIS User Community," along with HERE, Esri and OpenStreetMap.

GeoMakers to Debut at GEOINT
Jared Novick, founder and CEO of GeoMakersis building a nonprofit educational community for dreamers, tinkerers, and geospatial enthusiasts. He believes the general public is increasingly taking up DIY projects and delivering powerful capabilities for pennies on the dollar. 
“GeoMakers will dream, build, and implement open-source 'makers' projects that involve mapping, remote sensing, navigating, and understanding our world geographically,” Novick said. “We’re seeking to change how people see and interact with our world by using inexpensive DIY techniques.”
Trajectory Magazine notes the beta website will be launched at the 2015 GEOINT event in June.

Who's Teaching Skills for the Digital Earth (Elmhurst College GIS MOOC)?

I've been wondering since the author and original instructor, Rich Schultz, left Elmhurst for Southern New Hampshire University. Now I know:
The lead instructor is Judith Bock, director of the geographic information systems (GIS) and applied geospatial sciences (AGS) programs and a lecturer in the Department of Geography & Geosciences at Elmhurst College.
The course (registration) starts March 1 and runs for four weeks.

Geo for All Invites Open Source Geo Educator Award Nominations
We are pleased to welcome nominations for "Geo for All - Open Education Award 2015". This is an opportunity for us to thank our colleagues for the greatest contributions to Open Education principles in the Geo domain. 
We aim to announce the winner of the award during the Open Education Week 2015 and the winner will be awarded at the FOSS4G 2015- Europe "Open Innovation for Europe" conference at Como, Italy. Details at http://europe.foss4g.org/2015/ The winner will also be receiving a crystal momento from NASA ( see at http://eurochallenge.como.polimi.it/ ) titled "Geo for All Educator of the year".
GISP Certification Changes

GISCI announced the addition of an exam to its certification process as of July 1. Key bits:
Effective July 1, 2015, all professionals applying for their initial GISP certification will be required to take and pass the GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam, now being developed, in addition to meeting the current standards for certification via a portfolio based review based on ethics agreement, education, experience, and professional contributions.
After July 1, 2015 the certification process will include a $100 application fee, a $250 exam fee, and a $100 portfolio review fee.
Students will be happy to know they can take the test when they feel prepared and have a full six years to complete the rest of the portfolio.

State of Geography at Eastern Illinois

While much of the school works on offering online options for some courses, geography is regrouping.
The Geography department revised their curriculum to follow some trends of other programs. 
Chris Laingen, an assistant geography professor, said they have noticed their students seem to be the “jacks of all trades but masters of none.” 
They are changing the curriculum so the three concentrations are more focused. These changes affect environment-physical geography and human geography option, as well as the geography and geography information sciences minor.
"More Women in STEM Please" says Manager of GIS at TVA
Tiffany Gibby, manager of GIS and mapping at TVA, said there are few women in her field, especially the computer technology aspect.
"Most résumés we get are male," she said.
She was quoted in a local (Chattanooga) news story on the topic.

Teaching Open Source

Talking Cloud gives examples of open source being taught, including a five day GIS class at Hunter, but notes institutions need to teach skills employers need. The article also describes open source as a "discipline;" I think it's a development model. I've been arguing for some time that students in all fields should run into and use lots of different software (open source software alongside proprietary) in their studies. And, I think they should understand how the two are different. Do your GIS students know the difference?

West Chester University Dual Enrollment GIS Course to Teach Local High Schoolers

Among the four courses local high school juniors and seniors can take at West Chester University (PA) is GEO 213: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for the Social Sciences.
Tuition is $600 per course. University officials said that is a 50 percent reduction in current WCU tuition costs. Additional costs include applicable fees and textbooks.
That's all good. I was disappointed the blurb about the course doesn't really explain what GIS is:
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a rapidly expanding field and the preeminent resource companies utilize when making decisions regarding location. Almost every industry and organization benefits strategic and economically. This is a course in mapping of the political, economic, and social features of places and analysis of those maps using ESRI ArcGIS resources. This is an introductory course, with hands-on technology experience, suitable for majors in political science, social work, economics, and other social science disciplines. This course combines lecture, discussion, and assignments to develop understanding and skills to understand the nature and methods of research, critique approaches to communication and research, and effectively and appropriately use GIS.
This PDF explains GIS and makes the course sound far more exciting. It suggests students will use sensors (arduinos), Twitter and Google Earth and complete a real world project, that is, authentic learning.