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Thursday, January 12, 2017

GIS Education Weekly: Spatial Skills Booster Course Raises STEM Scores

Programs, Degrees, and Courses

Advanced Webinar: Land Cover Classification with Satellite Imagery is a free, two session course from NASA that illustrates using QGIS for imagery. It's two Tuesdays, for four hours each starting January 31. Those who complete the required activities will receive a certificate of completion. ht/ Philip Davis.

I noted the Power of Data Project, a professional development offering for U.S. secondary school educators last week (under Geo for All news). Directions Magazine has an article on it this week.

Supergeo will release a series of online tutorials and courses in January. Via press release.

Geo for All News

Geo for all is now on Twitter @Geo4All_. Don't be confused by @Geo4All (with no trailing underscore).


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Resources and Articles of Interest

Directions: Resolution 2017: Create a professional development plan - A roundup of professional development options and thoughts from Diana Sinton. Thanks, Directions, for continuing to cover GIS education. I can't do it alone!

The Atlantic: How Design Thinking Became a Buzzword at School - "The trendy concept is in high demand among educators, but its specifics are vague." I guess this is the next thing after project based learning, critical thinking, and the like.

Medium: How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist - Wow, I never thought of user interfaces and user design that way. From 2016.

World Economic Forum - These maps explore modern American in ways you might not have considered before - These 22 U.S. maps (warning: some are garish) are from a post done in partnership with BuzzFeed, from September 2016.

MongoBay: Free online analysis of forest change - A tutorial explains how to use Basic Global Forest Watch analysis tools to assess forest loss or gain for countries, parks, or other areas.

This video shows a room sized map being used to plan the upcoming U.S. presidential inauguration. Does that help support the value of the giant maps that visit schools?


Research suggests it is possible to improve students' spatial visualization skills. "The first 95 students who completed the non-credit spatial skills course at Del Mar College, McHenry County College, and Tidewater Community College earned on average, one full letter grade higher (a grade of B) in the introductory STEM course they took than students who qualified for the spatial skills booster, but opted not to take it (and averaged a grade of C)."

For Students 

The Europa Challenge is open! "Your challenge, simply build a great application that serves some aspect of the OpenCitySmart design and uses NASA's open source virtual globe technology, WebWorldWind. By doing this you will advance a platform that allows every city to win! This challenge is open to all on our home planet." There are competitions for high school, university and professional teams. Deadline: August 14, 2017.

The NEGIS Scholarship deadline has been extended from Monday, January 9 to Monday, January 16, 2017.
GISCI Map Contest is open. There's not "student" category, but there are monetary prizes and application fee waiving for some winners. Deadline: Feb 28. Via press release.

NASA DEVELOP applications due in Feb. 17 for summer 2017, for current and recent grads, U.S. citizens 18+.

The AAG is hosting a Twitter chat today on careers in geography at 3 pm EST.

Explain what's wrong with this statement describing a new $500 smartwatch from Casio: "The F20 can accurately determine a wearer's location using data from three satellites: American GPS, Russian GLONASS and Japanese "MICHIBIKI" QZSS."

Monde Geospatial offers 10 Geospatial E-books for Dummies to download. Is Monde Geospatial an authoritative source? What does this statement in the article suggest? "Note that these E-books are not hosted on our website, we just show the download links. These E-Books are normally paid." Should you download them?

A tweet about Location Intelligence Brings Order to Data, Boosting the Bottom Line, Says Forbes Insights Report published in Forbes described it as an "interesting article." Is it an article? Is it authoritative? Is it earned, owned, or paid media? Would that distinction impact your decision to cite it for an assignment?

On and Off Campus

The University of Guam has produced village walking and running maps (pdfs and jpgs, I found no interactive maps or apps) to help encourage physical activity. The project is a collaboration between the athletics department and the College of Natural and Applied Sciences. Via press release.

Bow, NH high school senior Ellen Warwick used GIS to map the locations of veterans markers at the New Hampshire Veterans cemetery in Boscawen. Her father works at Esri.

Workspace Academy opens in Bethel, CT next week. It sounds like a space for education, but not a school per se. In any case, one of the features of the Academy is "a Global Humanities room that uses GIS technology."

An exhibition at Vanderbilt starting Jan 23 showcases the visualization of complex data in innovative ways. Places & Spaces: Mapping Science is an international collection of data visualizations that use new methods to make sense of large data streams.

President Obama OKs Crowdsourcing for Federal Agencies

President Obama signed the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act into law last week. The act relates to using crowdsourcing and citizen science to support federal agency missions. I noted it last year.