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Thursday, February 11, 2016

GIS Education Weekly: MOOCs, Guides, and Enslavement

Maps and the Geospatial Revolution now Available as Open Educational Resource
Now available for self study or re-use in your classes - the Maps MOOC (link is external) offered on Coursera is now offered as an Open Educational Resource by Penn State.
Here's the content. It's one of many OER Geography and other courses from Penn State. The About Page of the open content explains that the course may not be taught as a Coursera MOOC again:
  • Will this class be taught again as a MOOC on Coursera (or elsewhere)?  
  • I don't know yet. I would love to, but Coursera is radically changing how it does courses and I may not be able to spend the time necessary to convert how I do this course to fit their new model. Teaching a MOOC is a voluntary portion of my job (and most others who teach MOOCs), so it's important to understand that what my day job expects from me vs. what people want me to do for free are often incompatible with one another.
More on Geo-MOOCs

Diana Sinton offers an update on geo MOOCs at Directions Magazine. Of interest: quotes from ten people who took one or more geospatial MOOCs during 2014 or 2015.


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Coursera GIS Specialization Update

From instructor Nick Santos (@nickrsan):
GIS Specialization on @Coursera starts Feb 22nd: Audit the first course or sign up for the whole thing - https://www.coursera.org/learn/intro-gis
Mapbox Guide to OpenStreetMap

Mapbox just published a guide to Get on OpenStreetMap. It's one of many guides (tutorials) the company offers. Suggestion: if this blog post is a guide (@bonnie says it is) how about tagging it with "guide"? I'd love to find all the "guides" in one list, but can't seem to find a way to do that.

Drone Educators Conference

The Drone Educators Conference was held last weekend at Cal Poly Pomona. I didn't hear about it until this week; sorry. Here's a recap from Shaun Anderson via sUAS News. Of note:
My biggest disappointment with the conference was the general lack of folks currently teaching UAV-based courses.
Junior College Geography Revamp in Singapore
Geography will be taught over three main themes: tropical environment, globalisation and sustainable development. Before, it was divided into physical and human geography, each taught on its own.
There is also a fourth theme - geographical investigation. This requires students to craft research questions, and identify and explain how to collect the data needed to test their hypothesis.
Singapore is an interesting place.

What's going on at Center for Spatial Studies at the University of Redlands?
The Community Mapping class met with a group of special-needs high school students last week to identify places of significance for this vulnerable population.
Cool. Via Facebook

No GIS Major at Washington College: A Success Story
At Washington College, there's no formal GIS major. When it comes to our Program at WC, we have students from a variety of different backgrounds. One of those students is sophomore and Journeyman Casey Williams, who is a double major in English and Computer Science.
Stewart Bruce posted the student's story on LinkedIn.

Future of GIS should be empowerment NOT enslavement

post with that title appeared on both the OSGeo/ICA Geo for All e-mail list and the ICA Commission on Open Source Geospatial Technologies blog from Dr Suchith Anand, University of Nottingham, UK.

The post starts out noting there's been no response to an open request to AAG to include "Open Education principles" in its development work for a possible AP GIS&T course/exam. It then goes on to request stories of how OSGeo software is empowering companies, universities and others around the world.

Learning Python

There have been some interesting threads on Reddit/GIS about how to learn (teach oneself) Python. This one discusses the pros and cons of video based course at DiscoverSpatial. This one tries to help a person who already invested 300 hours but still can't "get it."

Museum Tackles Weather and Geography
A new exhibit at the Blacksburg Children’s Museum features satellite imagery of the area and a real time weather station to show how geography and climate are related.
I think the local NPR station confused weather and climate, but the exhibit looks fun. Also fun:
A team of professors and grad students at Virginia Tech created a wall-sized map from satellite photos by the US Geological Survey. ... The museum and Virginia View will offer scholarships to schools to pay for travel to Blacksburg to see the exhibit. 
VirginiaView, and others, provided funding for the exhibit.

UGA Urban and Metropolitan Studies Certificate in the Works
The year long process by the Department of Geography to create a certificate in Urban and Metropolitan Studies will hopefully be finalized in enough time to begin in the Fall 2016 semester, said Steven Holloway, a geography professor.
The on campus certificate involves four courses which may come from many different university departments.

Esri GIS Education News

Esri Cartographic Summit

I hear the Summit, held earlier this week, was a very valuable, but small (~50) event. Since it was live streamed, I expect on demand videos to be shared at some point. I could not find any recaps or blog posts about what happened. The twitter hashtag was #cartosummit.

Recent Post(s) at Ignite Education