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Thursday, July 9, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: Ambiguity, HACC, Esri News

Great Job for College Geography/GIS Student

This is a great job for a geography/GIS student who wants to practice effective writing skills. GeoLounge (run by longtime GIS person Caitlin Dempsey Morais) is looking for someone to summarize three geo-related articles a week in 300-600 words. It's a great way to earn some cash and build up a resume!

Tolerance of Ambiguity

Jeff Selingo, who writes about education, argues that a key skill for success in the workplace is dealing well with ambiguity. His post, Wanted in College Graduates: Tolerance for Ambiguity, appeared on LinkedIn in June. I see many indications that GIS students and job seekers are uncomfortable with ambiguity. All those "cookbook" GIS tutorials and exercises suggest educators and students fear of ambiguity.

My graduate students wanted the most detailed guidance on their projects. I rarely provided it. I pushed them to "figure it out." In contrast, I provide my undergraduate geography students with clearer required. They needed, and I provided, solid scaffolding as the many English language learners worked to both master English and a basic expository essay as they thought my World Regional Geography course.

Selingo shares his personal story of a newspaper job interview that had his interviewer leaving him on the streets of a new city to write a story in a few hours. The interviewer wasn't so much after the story he produced, but rather to learn how we handled the situation. Selingo points to Dwek's work on "grit," which I agree is related.

My favorite challenge for students and frankly, employees: teach yourself that new GIS program or language. How? Figure it out! I might even use that in as a job interview "test."

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Edu News From Esri

The latest ArcUser (pdf of entire issue) has two articles related to education. One is about Talbot Brooks at Delta State and his use of virtual machines to run ArcGIS Desktop in his classes. You might find a significant costs savings over having a lab of desktop machines.

The second article is a recap of Esri's participation in ConnectED. The one new tidbit I found: the next set of GeoInquiries (after earth science and U.S. history) will be aimed at AP Human Geography educators/students.

In ArcNews you can read yet another discussion of Esri's ConnectED work and AAG's GeoMentor program by the AAG's Doug Richardson.

Brendan O'Neill offers Three Reasons to Incorporate ArcGIS Pro into your GIS Curriculum on the Esri Education Community blog. Basically his reasons all boil down to "ArcGIS Pro is easier so students can get to doing GIS faster." There's also now a group on GeoNet looking at ArcGIS Pro for higher education.

OpenStreetMap, Active Learning in the Classroom for Humanitarian Need


The webinar (registration page) OpenStreetMap, Active Learning in the Classroom for Humanitarian Need is July 15, 2015 2:00pm (ET) to 3:00pm (ET) through the GeoTech Center and SNHU.
URL: http://snhu.adobeconnect.com/GeoTechCenterWebinars
Presented By: Steven Johnson and Mikel Maron
Affiliation: Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) and Presidential Fellow, U.S. Department of State
Harrisburg Area Community College Offers Online GIS Course

The Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) Geographic Information Systems Department in conjunction with the Workforce Development and Continuing Education Division will offer an introductory online class, “Exploring Our World: Fundamentals of Geospatial Science.” The eight-week online course, which is open to the public, begins Aug. 24, 2015 and costs $99(!).

Those who complete the course may earn Act 48 credits, Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and/or college credit toward HACC’s Geospatial Technology Program. Details in this PDF. I could find no details on what software is used.

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