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Thursday, March 24, 2016

GIS Education Weekly: Personalized Learning in GIS and Beyond; Video Game Pandemic Simulation

San Andreas High Students Map the City 

I wrote about the Quakes Technology Innovation (QTI) career-oriented learning program at San Andreas High School in San Bernardino last year. The first cohort in the GIS pathway, provided in partnership with Esri and the city of Highland, made presentations about its work earlier this month.
After classroom instruction and using GIS to assist in English and social studies courses, the students take walking field trips to put what they learned into action. The students use the Esri technology, their newly learned skills and a reflectivity tool borrowed from the city of Highland to map and record data on the city’s street signs, streetlights, fire hydrants, graffiti, potholes and curbing.
One senior is already planning to study GIS at a community college. I hope that in school "field trips" are referred to as "field work."

Personalized Learning: What It Really Is and Why It Really Matters

The article based on research by Michael Feldstein and Phil Hill (who I know via Audrey Watters writing) explores the reality of personalized learning. It's worth reading to explore the topic in general.

And, it's worth your time because one of the case studies involves GIS. A video from Middlebury College reveals how Assistant Professor of Geography Jeff Howarth adds spatial reasoning instruction to the curriculum outside of class time. He found that some students GIS learning was hampered by their lack experience with spatial reasoning. I noted "flipped GIS courses" at Middlebury last fall.


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Quotes of the Week
Mapping companies — and this is a bit of a stereotype — like to be outside and like the outdoors, and they like skiing and biking and other things they can do in Bend [OR].
Blair Deaver, GeoEngineers' SmartMine software development team lead, describes companies in our industry in an article about Maptime Bend.
I was a geography major, not a very good one, but I thought Oklahoma or OU was like 45 minutes, an hour from (Oklahoma City).
VCU coach Will Wade on his surprise at seeing support for opponent OU during prepations for last weekend's basketball game.

Learning Opportunities and Resources

Storytelling with Maps

A webinar titled Visual Storytelling using Maps with author, Alberto Cairo airs March 31st. It's hosted by Centigon Solutions, Inc. a location intelligence company.

Pandemic Simulation

Collapse is a new disease diffusion simulation from Ubisoft. It's part of the promotion and stage setting for a new game, The Division, released back on March 8. Collapse uses real geography and real world data about how diseases spread. H/T @itatters
The spread of the disease as I caught an international flight
out of Chicago.
Based on the fictive yet realistic storyline of Tom Clancy’s The Division, Collapse is an end of society simulator that uses real data to create a hyper-personalised experience of events to set the scene before the game’s launch on 8 March 2016.
Through a sequence of interactive storytelling, Collapse takes you through the consequences of the fictional variola chimera pandemic, demonstrating how quickly the cities and society that we take for granted can fall.
Self-paced Online Boundless Courses

Boundless offers a video-based PostGIS course, Intro to PostGIS, with instructor support. Students pay $50 and have access to the materials for 180 days. If I understand correctly, the course materials are all available under a Creative Commons license. The fee covers access to the videos and instructor. The materials are used in workshops the company offers face to face. The course was launched in 2010.

A second recently updated course, OpenGeo Suit: GeoServer Suite I, costs $500, and is the equivalent of a 30 hour/four day course. Enrollment in this course also includes access to Boundless' GeoServer Certification exam (detailed in a post about the original version) at no additional fee.

Points of Interest

GeoLearn, an online education provider focusing on surveying and geospatial topics, announced a partnership with Trimble. The deal makes courses available to Learn.Trimble.com customers.

Malik's icon on West Side Stories.
YouthRadio.org has put young people's stories about Oakland's gentrification onto a (non-Esri) story map on GitHub. It's called West Side Stories. NPR hosted Morning Edition from Youth Radio's studios in Oakland this week.

Thomas Cuyler, whose GIS Scholars effort I've mentioned before, is one of two Rochester, NY high school seniors named winners of the Rochester region’s 10th annual Princeton Prize in Race Relations award. His project involved mapping minority businesses. Cuyler, a senior at School Without Walls, will split the $1,000 prize and travel to Princeton University for its Race Relations Symposium weekend, April 28-30.

The Johnson County Park & Recreation District, which covers Kansas City, held a geocaching-like Easter egg hunt this year.

UCGIS will give its 2016 Research Award to Dr. Sergio Rey, a Professor in the School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning at Arizona State University. Rey has made substantial contributions to the methodology of spatial econometrics and inter-regional modeling, and is involved with open source GIS and spatial analytical software, including the PySAL open source library for spatial analysis.

Smith College is holding two web mapping workshops this month on campus. One is about Esri's story maps and the other about CartoDB. What's interesting is the project used to introduce the latter: "Map Your Meal with CartoDB. "We’ll walk you through different ways to analyze and visualize where the ingredients of a recent meal (either one you prepared or one served in the dining halls) were produced." Jon Caris at Smith explained that it was his Spatial Analysis Fellow, Scott Gilman,  suggested making the meal map project into a workshop.

New Maps Plus, the University of Kentucky graduate program, asks via a tweet, if readers would like to learn to make a map of tweets. I hope the program also teaches why one might want to make such a map. 

Esri Education GIS News

Last week I noted Esri's GeoInquiries team had an account on Twitter: @GeoInquiries. Things have changed. Those interested in GeoInquiry lessons are asked to use and follow the hashtag #geoinquiries. A well established account, @GISEd, will be featuring a new GeoInquiry each week.

#LOCADV is the hashtag for Esri's Location Advantage MOOC.

Polk State (FL) business students visited Panama this month. Per a write-up on the school website, students "visited with Esri Panama, which builds ArcGIS mapping software."

This video from February notes that exercises (Google Drive link) from the Esri Press book The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data have been updated.

Jeremy Webber of GeoJobe Consulting explains how Esri tapped that company for a pilot program to help set up and populate ArcGIS Online portals for the ConnectEd initiative.