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Thursday, March 5, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: Map Reaches Samsung Competition Finals, Mapbox Free for Students and Educators, Sounds Around the World

New Hampshire Freshmen Take a Map to Finals of Samsung Competition

A dump site in the Bow student's application.
Marcel Duhaime's ninth grade engineering class at Bow High School in New Hampshire created a "Bow Dump Sites" crowdsourcing application in ArcGIS Online to map where waste has been dumped in town. The project (video) is one of 15 finalists in the national Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition per the local paper. Public voting is open until March 25. There are other categories of judges, too, including Samsung employees.

Jacksonville Uses Tech in Geography Class

Curious to know what tech they use?
Some Jacksonville High School geography students are wielding technological tools called Smore, Edmodo and Google Hangouts to learn about the world.
There is no mention of GIS in the entire article about the Illinois school's course. Illinois has a K-12 Esri license.

Geodesign Coming to Wisconsin Madison.

Per Travis Flohr ‏@travis_flohr:
The UW-Madison Geodesign program has received final approvals. More info coming soon.
Pacific Lutheran University Story Map

Josesph Kerski created a story map campus tour; he noted that on Twitter.
PLU seeks to educate students for lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership and care—for other people, for their communities and for the Earth.
Is there no standard place for authorship information on story maps? I often find myself wondering "who made this?"

Students can now use Mapbox for Free

Students can use all the tools and up to 1 GB of data while they are in school for free. "Regular" free accounts come with 100MB of storage. Students/educators have access to guides, examples and documents. Those who want education accounts need to use a school e-mail address for the special license. No word if this just U.S., and if it applies to college and beyond or also for primary and secondary students and educators.

USC's New Spatial Lab
The USC Price School of Public Policy is making a significant investment into expanding the visualization of public policy and urban planning with the launch of a Spatial Analysis Teaching Laboratory (SATLAB) and a Spatial Analysis Lab (SLAB) for research, aiming to experiment with multimedia sights and sounds to bring attention to overlooked urban spaces and people.
Who's running the show?
USC Price brought in Associate Professor Annette Kim to direct SLAB, which she originated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kim is also teaching the first class in the SATLAB this spring, a course titled “Urban Spatial Ethnography and Critical Cartography.”
Any Price faculty can use the facility.

New UCGIS Fellow
UCGIS will be awarding Fellow status to Dr. Timothy Nyerges at its upcoming May 2015 Symposium in Alexandria, Virginia. Fellows are individuals who have contributed significantly to the advancement of geographic information science education and research.
Nyerges is a Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Washington in Seattle, known for his work in participatory GIS.

Invisible Women in Field Trip: Are they Still Invisible?

Wellesley College freshman Katy Ma and others, working with activist group SPARK Movement, are highlighting important invisible women in Google's Field Trip.
Ma and a group of girls around the world spent the past five months researching locations of significance in the lives of women who don't always get a mention in history class. Starting this week, their stories will be featured on Google's Field trip app tagged to significant locations in their lives.
Finding women to feature was not hard, but determining a single location with which to associate them was. Another challenge for the effort: Field Trip is not widely known or used (yet?). It might be a good idea for SPARK to get the dataset on a map on the Web so more people will see these women!

Sounds Around the World Shares Effectiveness Data

I've run into Sounds Around the World before. It's
an immersive new game that enables students to participate in a stimulating, dynamic musical journey across the globe. Here’s how it works: First, students divide into teams. Then, they are challenged to identify the geographical origins of a musical selection and to locate it on a geo-political map. Hints relating to geography, history and culture are given. The more songs a team gets correct, the more points they earn.
This week's PR announces the City of Baltimore purchased Sounds Around. It also noted the product's "proven educational outcomes.” I asked for details on that. The developer (and musician) Jason Armstrong Baker and K-12 teachers conducted pre- and post-game questionnaires to capture the data.
As of January 2014, the game protocol has been played by over 1000 students nationally. In 2012-2013, pre and post data was taken from 155 students in Maryland, including Howard County and Baltimore City schools systems. From those results, data has shown that after one play of the Sounds Around The World protocol, students' self- confidence in relationship to geography increased by 32.8%, and their ability to identify countries increased by 15%.
- from the vendor application to Baltimore
Recent quantitative studies of Sounds Around The World demonstrate impressive increases in important cognitive and social skills. Two student groups were tested: ninth graders and students with emotional and behavioral challenges. After only one play of Sounds Around the World, the ninth graders showed up to a 15% increase in their ability to identify countries in Asia, North Africa and the Middle East. Perhaps even more importantly, students showed vast improvements in their engagement and self-confidence with geography. As shown in the chart, ninth graders reported a 30% improvement in their enjoyment of geography, while students with emotional and behavioral disorders improved by 20.5%. The ninth graders’ self-confidence with geography rose by 32.8%, while students with emotional and behavioral disorders saw a 19.2% rise. Strong anecdotal evidence also suggests a marked increase in overall personal self-confidence and the ability to work with others.
- from the executive summary

Esri advises on Big Data PhD Program 

The School of Energy, Environmental Technology and Agrifood at Cranfield University has a new Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT). It's actually a consortium of four UK universities offering 30 PhD candidates the chance to study big data analytics to assess risk.And, since GIS involves big data, Esri ("supplier of geographic information monitoring software") is involved.
To help ensure that the work of the CDT remains relevant to real-world concerns, two advisory boards will work with it. One, an industrial advisory board, will be led by technology company Esri, supplier of geographic information monitoring software, which will vet proposed study topics for industrial relevance. The second, an international advisory board, will be led by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, and will look at the potential international impact of the work.

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