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Thursday, October 29, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: HapYak, GeoWeek, How to Be Hired

Followup on EDPuzzle and other tools for Educators to Enhance Videos

Last week I noted EDPuzzle a free tool to make existing videos more valuable and interactive. Penn State's Beth King, Senior Lecturer / Assistant Program Manager for Online Geospatial Education, shared that the school's Teaching and Learning with Technology team explored several tools like EDPuzzle last year and prepared a report.

The Dutton E-Education Institute has selected HapYak (which isn't in the report above) while other groups will make their own choices. One issue that came up: the accessibility of the resulting videos for disabled students.

Update on USGIF Pilot Exams

The GIS and Analysis Tools pilot exam will no longer be offered due to USGIF receiving the total number of pilot exam participants. But the Remote Sensing & Imagery Analysis and Data Management exams are available. Testing will be held 8-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. at USGIF headquarters in Herndon, Va. USGIF  on Nov 7 and Dec 5.

Quote of the Week
I’m not teaching you how to use Google maps; I’m teaching you how to make it.
Amy Lobben, the head of the geography department at the University of Oregon describing a new SDST (undefined, sadly) degree expected in 2016.

OSM Geo Week

Geography Awareness Week starts November 15th and so does OSM Geo Week. HOTOSM staff suggest it's a great opportunity for schools to come together and map to prepare communities for the next disaster as part of the Missing Maps project.

In related news, earlier this week University of Utah and Brigham Young University volunteers worked with HOTOSM on mapping related this week's earthquake in South Asia and last week's Hurricane Patricia.

There are many logos at the bottom of the HOTOSM GeoWeek page. There are none at NatGeo's GeoWeek page. As for GIS Day, it has two supporters listed: Esri and OGC.

How to Hire or Be Hired: A Jobs Panel 

Robin Tolochko recaps a panel she hosted at NACIS on hiring. It included folks from Azavea (Sarah Cordivano), CartoDB (Andrew Hill), ESRI [sic] (Sean Breyer), National Geographic (Martin Gamache), and the State Department (Leo Dillon). Good stuff here. Via: @Robert E. Roth

Virtualizing GIS Software at Columbus State

EdTech Magazine offer an article about using virtual desktops from VMWare at Columbus State Community College to make life easier for its students to access desktop software. This quote, from Deputy CIO Jim Beidler, appeared at the end:
In the past, one of our GIS instructors spent half the semester assisting her distance learning students in loading and configuring software on home systems. Now, students can access a software image remotely that exactly matches the lab experience, and the instructor spends more time teaching and working with students on course materials.
I understand the motivation. Still, installing software is an important skill to have! This is an Esri focused program best I can tell (GIS course list).

Location Based App for UVa
A team of University students and alumni launched a new social app for students this past Thursday. The app, called Hoos Out, features a social map designed to give students an accurate portrayal of the most popular places on and off Grounds.
I'm not sure what a social map is, but the app has that and a heat map per an article in the school paper.

USGS Crowdsourcing Efforts: Field Work for Students?

Badges that can be earned
via TMN Corps work.
Having students work on real world projects is always a goal. Since the USGS seems to have a "TNMCorps student contractor" I guess students get involved in its work, too. For those who've not seen the program, here are the basics from the latest press release.
Volunteers are being recognized and earning custom badges for making significant contributions to the U.S. Geological Survey's ability to provide accurate and timely information to the public. Using crowdsourcing techniques, the USGS project known as The National Map Corps (TNMCorps) encourages volunteer “citizen scientists” to collect manmade structure data such as police stations, schools, hospitals and cemeteries, in an effort to provide more precise and authoritative spatial data for the USGS web-based mapping portal known as The National Map and updated US Topo map products.
NASA STEM Grant to U Toledo Geographer
University of Toledo geography professor Kevin Czajkowski will take the lead on a $10 million initiative to develop a project-based curriculum in STEM — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The goal is to make learning in those subjects more hands-on for students, immersing them in projects to solve problems through science, with the aid of NASA data.
There's no explicit mention of geography or geospatial technology in the story on the grant, but I'm thinking "it's in there."

California Colleges and Universities Story Map

The map of four year public and private universities, and two year public colleges in the state was created by California Geographic Alliance.  I have lots of questions (as I do for many story maps): What is its purpose? How would a potential college student use it? Is this the right format for this type of map? Date and source of data? Via: Michael Gould (@0mgould).

How We Design Your Online Courses

The slides from Carl Sack's talk at NACIS do not exactly explain how the the developer focused mapping course is designed. They do indicate how carefully UW-Madison educators follow student progress in a course.

Esri Education News

Free GIS Training in Return for Practicing in Wyoming

Central Wyoming College (CWC) in Riverton, WY (pop. ~ 10K)
is offering free tuition through a state program to qualified Wyoming residents, and scholarships to nonresidents, if they earn a credential, a certificate, or an associate of applied science (AAS) degree in GIST from CWC. In exchange, the students must work in-state, usually in temporary, full-time paid positions during the summer or in part-time jobs during the school year, to help meet Wyoming's need for GIST-trained technicians.
I could find no list of courses on the program page, but since the "offer" is only made via ArcWatch, my guess is this is an Esri-centric program. Details in ArcWatch, Via: GISUser.

Fourth Graders and Story Maps

Esri's Allen Carroll (‏@AllenCarroll) tweeted:
If fourth graders can do it, you can too! Story maps are becoming a big deal in classrooms
He was citing:
Esri's i.am.angel Foundation School Students Present at STEM Meeting

In 2013 four 11th grade Roosevelt Magnet students presented at the Esri International User Conference in San Diego. A press release this week notes how students from the same school are making history. A group visited DC making Roosevelt
the first California school to address the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA). Students made their presentation during the Education Forum at the association’s annual Leadership Summit.
The presented work involved GIS. Actually, it involved "mapping technology software."
MSTMA was invited to share their [sic] work integrating technology with their Service-Learning Project to explore community rights. For their project, students used mapping technology software to create data-driven research that examines how gentrification, affordable housing and characterization of public schools was shaping their community. Students not only researched, but also designed workshops to educate their peers, teachers and the school community.
What "mapping technology software?" If you read the story on the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a non-profit which runs Roosevelt and other schools, you'd not know. If you read it on GIS User you'd get a link to Esri's ConnectED page.

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