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Thursday, December 17, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: ESSA, New Esri and Open Source Training Programs, Tableau Maps

Every Student Succeeds Act Passes but Money is Not Raining Down for Geography

The update to No Child Left Behind, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act – the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA, large pdf), received the president's signature last week. Geography got some love, but is lumped in with a number of disciplines now considered part of a “well-rounded education.” That means it will compete with them for grant funds. Here's the part of the bill (page 807) that defines a "well-rounded education":
6 ‘well-rounded education’ means courses, activities,
7 and programming in subjects such as English, read-
8 ing or language arts, writing, science, technology,
9 engineering, mathematics, foreign languages, civics
10 and government, economics, arts, history, geography,
11 computer science, music, career and technical edu-
12 cation, health, physical education, and any other
13 subject, as determined by the State or local edu-
14 cational agency, with the purpose of providing all
15 students access to an enriched curriculum and edu-
16 cational experience.’’.
The National Association for Music Education (NAME) is happy to have music on the list. NAME notes that the funds are not just being given away; educators will need to go out and get them. NAME already has a toolkit (pdf) to help members do that.

The AAG offers a summary of the places geography, as a part of a well-rounded education, appears in the bill. And, perhaps it too will offer such a guide.

There's definitely confusion on geography funding in ESSA. "Funding of geography education" was ranked number two in a Twitter-voted list of top geo stories of the year. I'm afraid that simple statement is a bit misleading.

I encourage K-12 geography educator and administrators to get excited about the bill's passage, but also suggest they warm up their fingers to type out some grant proposals to get hold of some of the funds!


How about a gift for yourself or a fellow educator? May I suggest a free e-mail each week that keeps you up-to-date on what's going on in GIS education? 

Bad Data and How to Deal with Them

This post from Quartz on GitHub "presents thorough descriptions and possible solutions to many of the kinds of problems that you will encounter when working with data." This one surprised me: if you receive data in PDF, it's your responsibility to free them. Via: Lyzi Diamond (@Lyzi Diamond)

New National Education Technology Plan

The National Education Technology Plan was unveiled on Thursday.  For those like me who do not follow such plans, a new one comes out every five years. (Really? Tech changes faster than that!) EdSurge has a recap, but here's a description.
The 106-page document envisions what education could look like in coming years, describes how technology can play a role, and outlines steps that education leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, researchers, policymakers and others can take.
Here's an EdSurge evaluation of how well we did on the main goals of the 2010 edition.

Update on Central Wyoming College

Remember Central Wyoming College? I mentioned the college had a Wyoming Workforce grant to provide scholarships for its GIS program, specifically, full scholarships for Wyoming residents, and discounted tuition for those out-of-state who commit to working in Wyoming after they finish their schooling. 

An article on a state news site reports the new program has 25 students and most are pursing credentials with fewer courses than an Associates Degree. The program website has lots of pictures; those looking for credential, degree and course details can dig into this 167 page PDF

Metro College of Technology GIS Program (Esri)

Toronto’s Metro College of Technology announced an "intensive 60 hour GIS training program providing students with the information, skills and tools needed to work with geographic data." Best I can tell the program involves three modules (three courses?) using ArcGIS.

GIS Certificate from Langara College (Open Source)
The Geographic Information Systems CS certificate program begins at Langara College in January 2016. It is comprised of five courses, each of which has six sessions. The lessons will be a combination of two focuses: fundamental concepts of GIS and hands-on experience with Open Source technologies like QGIS, Inkscape, and GRASS.
The courses are built on the materials from the U.S. Dept of Labor funded NISGTC. Courses run CA$389 each. I'm pleased the course authors are up to date on the licensing of the software (Gnu Public License) and the course materials (Creative Commons). If open source licensing confuses you,  you are not alone. I wrote this short article a few years back to try to clarify things.

University of Washington Maps Social Movements (Tableau)

University of Washington historian James Gregory merged geovisualization and history for the Mapping American Social Movements through the 20th Century project. All the maps are all done in Tableau. I'm seeing hints that Tableau may be a significant competitor to offerings like CartoDB in the education and research space.

Mentoring Geospatial Students Three Ways

Diana Sinton details how Azavea's Summer of Maps, Washington College's guilds and and the AAG's GeoMentor program grow student skills.

American Panorama 

Overland Trails Near Fort Laramie
American Panorama is an Atlas of U.S. History created by the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond and funded by the university and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Stamen Design developed the software.

To date there are four interesting, unique maps exploring forced migration of slaves, the overland trails, foreign born populations and canals. The maps are valuable to both geography and history students and educators.

Esri GIS Education News


Esri has videos of students presenting at the Esri International User Conference back to 2009 on ArcGIS.com

Getting to Know ArcGIS Pro 1st Edition

This title from Esri Press will be released on April 30, 2016 and currently lists for $70.79

Esri MOOC Schedule 2016

This graphic (not text!) published on Esri's MOOC Facebook page in November has start dates for next year's courses.

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