ABS Consulting Group, Inc.: Home | Blog | Resume | Speaking | Publications

Thursday, May 5, 2016

GIS Education Weekly: White House Funding Free Community College for Skilled Occupations

Grants for Free Community College Programs Supporting Skilled Occupations

Current state of free community
college programs, via fact sheet
A new federal program announced on Monday by Vice President Biden and his wife, a community college professor, funds free tuition for some students. The initiative provides funding through the Labor Department "to partnerships between employers, training programs, and community and technical colleges aimed at readying students for skilled occupations. Award recipients must extend tuition-free education to unemployed, underemployed and low-income workers to enter industries that require skilled labor."  Will GIS be one of the skilled occupations? I'll keep an eye out!

NSF Funds Transformative Research in Geography Education
The National Science Foundation, through its Geography and Spatial Sciences program, has awarded the AAG and Texas State University a five-year, $400,000 grant to develop a research coordination network (RCN) for transformative research in geography education. The RCN will be a project of the National Center for Research in Geography Education (NCRGE) under the direction of Dr. Michael Solem (AAG) and Dr. Richard G. Boehm (Texas State University).
This research effort, described in an AAG press release, looks to me like the first work based on the The Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education project. Not familiar with that effort? I wrote about the deliverables in 2013.


Get this GIS education update free, via e-mail, every Thursday

Quote of the Week

@GISCI_GISP tweeted:

GIS Coordinator Position - Moorhead, MN - GISP Preferred.
The actual text (pdf): "GIS Professional (GISP) Certification or equivalent" is "desired."

In the News

GeoAlliance Canada announced its focus for the next year will be projects that build a stronger sector identity, improve educational resources, and increase access to geospatial data. Efforts are underway to determine which projects to tackle.
[Namibia's] Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma says the shortage of experienced technical and professional staff skilled in the use of geospatial data for good governance is a serious concern, as it constrains his ministry. Nujoma was speaking at the Fourth High Level Forum on United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management that took place recently in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. 
Resources and Learning Opportunities

Ningning Kong, Michael Fosmire, and Benjamin Dewayne Branch (all Purdue University) have released a pre-print of their article, “Developing Library GIS Services for Humanities and Social Science: An Action Research Approach” through College & Research Libraries. The article establishes a research framework for academic libraries to develop GIS services. h/t @dianamaps

In other geolibrary news, the Map and Geospatial Information Round Table (MAGIRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) is looking for input on competencies for GIS or map librarianship. Here's the document (pdf) from 2008 that's needs revising. h/t @MAGIRTala

Mother Nature Network shares 5 books to increase your child's spatial skills. Another h/t to @dianamaps.

Mapman, from the cover of
the comic.
Canadian GIS and Geomatics (@CanadianGIS) revived the excitement about Esri's Amazing Mapman comic/coloring book by republishing a blog post. The download link is hosted in Russia. That could be fine, but I suggest downloading it (zipped, 20 Mb) from Esri's GIS Day resources page.

The first gvSIG Festival, a virtual event, runs May 23rd to 27th. Anyone can attend more than twenty webinars in different languages via the Web. Registration opens May 10. I found no information on fees.

Ujaval Gandhi, @spatialthoughts, is behind what Stace Maples calls "some of the BEST" QGIS Tutorials and Tips.

Jessi Breen ‏(@JessiBreen) posted resources on QGIS from her FOSS4GNA talk on teaching with open source.

Mabox offers a new guide: Make a choropleth map with Mapbox Studio + Mapbox GL JS h/t @mapbox.

In and Out of the Classroom
Who made this story map?

Last week I noted a campus tour at the University of Georgia campus featuring racialized spaces on campus. This week I learned of a project by Public History at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, a faculty-student Research Cluster sponsored by the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities. Its story map features social movements on campus including stories connected to the various landmarks on campus highlighting activism on the quad, boycotts dating back to 1971 and an outline of the removal of Chief Illiniwek. I continue to be disappointed that few story maps make their authorship clear in the title area. On quick look and without reading the text, it looks like Esri is the author of this story map!
P.E. [physical education] in Miami-Dade County is getting techy as a group of middle and high school students kick it up a notch in their physical education class. "The students have to use a GPS to find the exercise station and then do the exercises with them," said District Director of Physical Education and Health Literacy Jayne Greenberg.  
Children in Great Cornard, a village in Enlgand, tackled a project at the library to create a 3D map of where they live. April was turned into MAPril at many libraries in the region. The aim was for children visiting these libraries during April to contribute their ideas and drawings and identify important places to create 3D maps of their hometowns.

A LinkedIn post from Toby Soto includes results of a small survey (N=76) he did about how GIS users got their jobs. "Just by applying" (37%) and "By internship" (30%) were the most common responses.

Esri News

Esri Canada announced the winners of the Esri Canada GIS Centres of Excellence in Higher Education App Challenge: Stephane Bowen, Joel Jeyarajah and Sean Thibert (Team ‘Mapster’) from the NSCC Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS). During the week-long coding competition students schools in the network built Web apps that use open data and Esri’s technology to address the theme of renewable energy. Team Mapster built SolarSaver, one of 21 entries. It allows the public to search for a home on a Web map, calculate potential savings from installing rooftop solar panels and find local suppliers.

In Singapore students are using GIS, described as "smart maps," instead of textbooks to learn about volcanos and their impacts. There is an anecdotal input from teachers that the technology "increased classroom engagement, greater accountability, enhanced creative thinking, and improved observation, reasoning, and collaborative skills."

Worth Reading