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Thursday, November 5, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: Getting Skills at Community Colleges, MOOC Stats, Economically Diverse Colleges

Those with Bachelors Flock to Community Colleges for GIS

The end of a long article from the Hechinger Report (+1) about those with degrees returning to the community college for job skills is this factoid:
At California’s Foothill College, employed workers from nearby tech companies have flocked to the community college for advanced training in geographic information systems, said Kurt Hueg, Foothill’s vice president of instruction. The school has embraced its role helping Silicon Valley, he said, but it’s difficult letting educated workers know about opportunities at community colleges.

“Marketing is a big part of our function here,” Hueg said. “As much as people think they know about us here, they don’t really know us.”
University of West Florida GIS MOOC Update

A press release this week detailed the impact of the school's Introduction to GIS MOOC offered this past May.

  • 3400 students
  • Content used by the University of Hawaii to teach professionals and academics in Mozambique
  • Mentioned at Esri Education GIS Conference plenary
  • Will be taught again next May


A few weeks ago I noted Hexagon's "I am Hexagon" features profiling its employees. This week HERE has started a similar effort called "We Are HERE."
Before HERE technology happens — people happen. It may seem like magic, but there are a lot of people behind the scenes bringing things to life. How do they do it? This blog series will provide answers as we interview HERE employees and pull back the curtain.
First up is an interview with Mahmoud Abid, a Sr. Dev Ops Engineer, based at the HERE office in Schwalbach, Germany. Via: Glenn Letham (@gletham).

Geographic Research Shared via Performance, not Paper, nor Map

Here's another way to share your research:
Chris Courtheyn, a doctoral candidate in the department of geography at UNC, lived with and studied a peace community in San José de Apartadó, Colombia. The community's mission was to survive and stay on its land, a difficult task because of the war happening in Colombia at the time. ....
Courtheyn decided that instead of telling the community's stories in the form of a traditional ethnographic study, he would present his findings in the form of a performance.
GPS Tracking for Autistic Students Questioned by School

Parents of two Minnesota autistic boys, who are known to wander, wanted them to wear GPS tracking devices to their respective schools. The schools initially said, no, but eventually came around.
The schools argued that GPS devices threatened the confidentiality of other students, but after a month of dialogue, the parents and schools reached an understanding.
Geographic Education in a Modern World

Matthew Wilson recaps a panel with the title Geographic Education in a Modern World from the NACIS meeting last month in Minneapolis. There are some interesting tidbits from those in academia. While there was one local government person on the panel, I would like to hear from software and edtech vendors, too. One comment I want to share is from Katie Kowalsky (UW-Madison):
the tendency for companies to do a subscription based model is too modern for most of higher ed and is inaccessible.
Via: Mike Foster (‏@mjfoster83)


Disc Golf at my local course in
Burlington, MA.
We hit a lot of trees.
Penn State's GIS Day events run nearly every day of Geography Awareness Week. There's a workshop on Getting to Know PolicyMap, SimplyMap, and SocialExplorer, a MapTime meeting, lightning talks and a special guest from Esri. Events are co-sponsored by the University Libraries and the Department of Geography.

The University of Redlands is hosting a disc golf tournament during GeoWeek. I'm jealous since I just started playing the sport this summer. The connection between geography and disc golf? I'm not sure!

Digital Humanities: Mapping Historical Social Connections

Those involved in digital humanities might be interested in this hour long podcast from WXXI (Rochester, NY). It features Caroline Winterer, director, Stanford University Humanities Center who is mapping Benjamin Franklin's worldwide social network via 20,000 letters sent and received in his lifetime. The podcast also covers a University of Rochester River Campus Libraries project, where the team is using GIS to map the social networks of William Henry Seward and his family.

Most Economically Diverse Student Body as Revealed by Pell Grants

US News and World Report offers a map.
The map below features the National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges that gave Pell Grants to at least 50 percent of their undergraduates in 2013. U.S. News has a separate list that lays out economic diversity at the top 25 ranked institutions in the National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges and Regional Colleges and Regional Universities ​categories. Pell Grant percentages were calculated using 2013-2014 data on the number of Pell Grant recipients at each school collected by the U.S. Department of Education and given to U.S. News, along with fall 2013 total undergraduate enrollment collected from the colleges themselves by U.S. News.
Economically Diverse Liberal Arts College
and National Universities by economic diversity

Python Scripting in ArcGIS: YouTube Videos from University of Alaska 

The series of videos, 13 weeks worth, is free.

Open Source GIS Education In Texas

That's not really what the slide deck is about, but that's the title. The presentation at Texas GIS Forum in Austin last week is about the history and future of the GeoAcademy. One of the last slides reveals the team is working with publishers to "semi-commercialize" the courses to broaden reach and fund new content.

Esri News

Single Sign On?

Michael Gould (@0mgould) shared (via Facebook group, Esri HigherEd-L):
Is your university concerned with Single Sign On (SSO) issues? Would you like to have better support for these options on the ArcGIS platform?
If so, he suggests voting for the ArcGIS Idea: Enable Shibboleth authentication for UK Higher Education customers

Don't Be a Ripoff Artist

Esri's ArcUser offers an article about not infringing on copyright when creating a story map. I wish the article provided examples of how to attribute content under CC within the limited story map templates. I continue to find story maps that do not even include the creator's name or data source information!

I wrote about re-using Web content some years ago. It continues to be a very popular post on my blog.

Students Find Real-World Answers with Community Analyst

Camelia-Maria Kantor of Claflin University details how she's integrated Community Analyst into a number of elective geography classes in an article in ArcUser. Students consider which factors to use to determine where they might want to look for work after graduation. She provides an outline for the exercise that educators reading this might want to emulate in their courses.

Endorsement for the ArcGIS Book, MOOC

Tom Smedley (@armymapguy) tweeted (and @esrimooc retweeted):
Read book & did exercises; completed the @esrimooc taught by 1 of the article's authors. Great learning & #education http://goo.gl/MDyrYN
Who is Tom Smedley? His Twitter bio states: "Army Acct. Mgr for Esri."

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