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Thursday, May 21, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: MOOC Dropout, GPUs for ArcGIS, Periscope for Conferences

Why I dropped out of the Location Advantage MOOC

Image by Elliot Lepers under CC-BY-SA 3.0

There are lots of positive comments on Esri's latest MOOC, the Location Advantage. It focuses on the use of GIS, ArcGIS Online in particular, in business. I dropped out during the first week and explain why in this blog post. TL;DR: Lack of engagement.


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NVIDIA GPU Speeds ArcGIS for College

The rather promotional piece in TechTarget addresses how an unnamed midwest liberal arts school (Drake in Des Moines, IA) plunked NVIDA technology in its system to speed up ArcGIS.
Citrix's products weren't enough to improve performance for one particular app, however. Students who studied subjects involving geographic information systems at the school use ArcGIS, an app produced by Esri Inc. of Redlands, Calif. ArcGIS maps out topographical models and performs that modeling within the app.
The app is very graphics-intensive and broke down when used within the Citrix environment without any graphics acceleration, Mielke said.

Peter Fisher Remembrance Event

The University of Leicester is celebrating the work of Peter Fisher who passed away earlier this year.
Evolving GIScience: A celebration of the life and work of Peter Fisher runs July 14-15 2015 at the university. 

No GIS Poster Sessions in Arlington Public Schools

I explored poster sessions in a blog post earlier this week. Then saw a tweet from Ryan Miller, an instructor in the Arlington (VA) Public Schools and a (partly Penn State educated) meteorologist. Our conversation culminated with how he has his students present their posters.
lightening talk format. 2-3min present. Audience was #GIS pros who shared tasks for students to work on. Individual q's after
I'm less and less enamored with posters with each passing day.

GRACE Video Honored

Last week I noted two GIS focused videos in the NSF Teaching and Learning Video Showcase. Addressing STEM Demand through the GRACE Program was recognized among the 112 submissions with a public choice award.

Quote of the Week

On GIS mapping: “It’s a skill set that’s highly sought after, and it allows students to almost instantly be more employable. It’s something that is being used widely in the military, geography, medicine, natural resources ... it’s kind of a universal skill.”

Dr. Dave Unger, assistant professor of biology, who established the GIS lab at Maryville College, was quoted in the Daily Times.

GIS in Natural Gas Degrees Growing in Pennsylvania

Mansfield University began offering the Associate of Applied Science in Natural Gas Production and Services and the Bachelor of Science in Safety Management in 2012. Among the five concentrations is GIS and enrollment is up.
For the A.A.S., enrollment in fall 2012 was five; fall 2013, 26; and fall 2014, 28. For the B.S. in Safety Management, figures were available for the last two years. In fall 2013, enrollment was 10, and in fall 2014, it has almost doubled to 19.
We we in the field may love "pure" GIS certificates and degrees, I think this program may be the future of workforce based GIS instruction.

White House-Backed Technology Aids Geomapping In California’s Public Schools

The article on the a Los Angeles CBS affiliate website is from April and covers two ConnectED case studies. Both profiled instructors are T3G alums (Esri's Teachers Teaching Teachers GIS annual professional development offering). One has a masters in Spatial Literacy (I guess from U Redlands since I think that's the only institution that offers none).

These talented educators are the low hanging fruit of ConnectED; the challenge is getting out beyond the "already committed" GIS educators.

The article, by the way, is presented in partnership with the California Lottery. That's the state of the news biz!

Periscope and the AAG

Kris Olds, Department Chair, Professor of Geography has nice things to say about the recent AAG meeting in Chicago in his Inside Higher Ed piece. He explores the potential of live streaming apps, like Twitter's Periscope. for opening up conference attendance. Worth a read. I'll toss out my two cents: live streaming of conference sessions is valuable to me ONLY if I know in advance the session is worth my time. Otherwise, I'll wait for others to curate the conference content.

AP Physical Geography Course Links High School, University

I'm a bit confused since so far as I know there is no AP Physical geography test, but I see no reason a course can't have that name. The course in question, noted in the local paper, seems to be a project-based GIS course where Edwardsville High School students work with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville faculty and students on real world projects. Students presented projects at the university and at a school board meeting.

GeoPersectives Summer School: October @Salzburg

Josef Strobl shares:

Anyone interested in combining active participation in three top conferences into a summer school to earn academic credit: welcome to Salzburg Oct 11-16!

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