ABS Consulting Group, Inc.: Home | Blog | Resume | Speaking | Publications

Thursday, September 10, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: NCGE Challenge Winners, Service Learning, Drones

What the Planet Really Looks Like

The Daily Mail wrote quite a bit about The True Size, a Web app that compares the size of countries and highlight the challenges of the Mercator projection.

Case Study: Is [GIS] Service Learning Worth the Effort?

Short answer: Yes.  Georgiana Bostean from Chapman University explains how she does it and why it's worth it.

Bay Area Geo-Educators Summit
BayGeo is convening a Bay Area Geo-Educators Summit on Friday, October 2 at Stanford University. We hope to see many fellow educators from K-12, colleges, and universities from the Bay Area. 
The primary objective of the Summit is to give educators teaching and using geospatial technology a semi-structured yet informal forum to meet and share ideas.
NCGE National Geography Challenge Winners
The results of the best performing schools on the NCGE sponsored National Geography Challenge were released in early July. This annual multiple-choice test is made available each year to be used with students in grades 2 to 12. The winning student at each grade level from every school is awarded the Challenge Medal, with the ten runners-up receiving Certificates of Recognition.
The Continental Mathematics League (CML) administers the testing program. Questions are based on Geography for Life: National Geography Standards (2nd Edition, 2012). This year, 147 schools in 30 states participated. Here you can find the results, and here you can find sample questions.
I did not know this existed.


If you've read past the jump you might want to subscribe to receive this newsletter via e-mail. Free, no spam, every Thursday. (Yes, Thursday, just like GIS Monitor!)

Service Learning at UK
What started as a project in a University of Kentucky geography course is now a resource for young single mothers across Lexington.

The resource, an online interactive map, was developed by UK senior Laura Greenfield for Step By Step, a mentoring ministry for under-resourced mothers ages 14 to 24. The geospatial technology pinpoints where young moms can find abuse counseling and support; emergency shelters; clothing resources; education institutions; childcare; and more services around Lexington.
The map uses Leaflet and OSM, among other things. The university news' article goes on to tout the New Maps Plus program.

Good News from the Land of Lincoln 

@UIUCGeogGIS (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Dept of Geography and Geographic Information Science) tweets:
We've got more majors than we've had in the past decade! It's a great time to be a geographer!

Drones Touch Math, Football in Nebraska

Jeff Ingraham, technology specialist for Educational Service Unit No. 3 and his team have access to a few drones. The service unit has 25 drones and supports 18 eastern Nebraska school districts. Some schools and districts have their own drones The tech specialists use the UAS' to help with teaching and learning ... and playing sports and marketing.

A very long article in the local paper cites using UASs to:
  • take video of a football team and marching band
  • develop programming skills
  • create slick videos to market specific school districts and their facilities
  • STEM, math in particular
There's no mention of geography, but there is a reference to mapping (Google Earth) locations related to a rocket project.

METS Guild of Chestertown Mean GIS and More for Grades 7-9 
Funded by a grant from the Verizon Foundation, Washington College’s Geographic Information Systems Program is launching a new learning project for area students in grades seven, eight and nine. The program is called the METS Guild of Chestertown, with METS representing Mathematics, Engineering, Technology and Science.
The local paper describes the program detailing how selected students will work on weekends in one of three areas: Web Design, 3D Visualization and Gaming, and GIS (ArcMap). They will train for eight weeks, then work on real world projects for eight weeks. Stipends will be paid for successful completion of the projects.

Student Uses GIS to Help University Better Route Shuttles
[Mallika] Dinesh, an environmental studies major in the spatial analysis program [at the University of North Georgia], lives in an apartment about a mile from the Gainesville campus. The university’s new shuttle services don’t stop by her apartment — or any others — and she’s drafting a proposal to change that.

“I have a map that I worked on and submitted in talking to the dean of my department,” she said. “In the spatial analysis program we do a lot of mapping. So I talked to him and he said he was going to talk to the provost.”
The story was in the local paper.

Another Award for JMU's Geospatial Semester

Photo by @JMUResearch
The James Madison University program was one of 18 winners, and one of two education winners, of the Virginia 2015 Governor’s Technology Award. The awards were presented September 9th. I noted another award in January.


What's hot on HIGHERED-L? MacOS

I read Esri's HigherED-L, an e-mail list, pretty regularly. Questions are posted and some eventually are answered. I was very surprised when a question appeared on Labor Day and there were eight responses, many submitted on the holiday! The question? How to run ArcGIS for Desktop on a Mac: Boot Camp vs. Parallels?

The question and answers tell me a few things:
  • lots of Macs on campuses
  • educators are working on Labor Day
  • lots of educators have experience with the issue
  • ArcGIS Online is not aways an option
Elementary School Geography and Science with ArcGIS Online

Esri updated Thinking Spatially with GIS to use ArcGIS Online. The lessons are aimed at 5th and 6th graders and are free under a CC license.

The first lesson (Magellan crosses the Atlantic Ocean) is a cookbook lesson (click this button, then this one, look at this, answer a question) has 55 steps in 16 pages. This is aimed at ConnectED educators, among others.

New GeoInquiries

Esri's Tom Baker writes:
The U.S. History GeoInquiry collection is being released now – with one or two new “beta” activities available weekly. Throughout the fall, we will be releasing more of these activities, with the full collection available around mid October. GeoInquiries available now ... include:
Recent post(s) from Ignite Education