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Thursday, April 6, 2017

GIS Education Weekly: Mapping College Promise Programs, Blue Marble Higher Ed Deal, CitSci on PBS

College Promise Programs
Articles and Resources

University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate of School of Education: Interactive Map of College Promise Programs - The map uses technology called Whimsy, built by the GSE on Leaflet and OpenStreetMap.

Blog post: GIS Graduates Want More Coding, App Building, IT - Results of a survey of Esri young professionals shared by David DiBiase.

Atlas Obscura: Why Map Historians Are Annoyed With Boston Public Schools - The publication offers more on Gall-Peters in Boston situation including (1) how it's raised an old argument and (2) a detail I missed, that the Mercator maps are staying and that all new maps purchased will be Gall-Peters. There's also a funny quote about long underwear.

PDF: Index of Joseph Kerski's Posts on GIS Education - My colleague has put together a PDF index of his more than 400 essays on GIS in education. Each post is downloadable as a PDF.

Press release: Blue Marble Offers Free Access to Global Mapper and Geographic Calculator at Higher Education Schools in the U.S. and Canada - "Beginning on May 1st, 2017, colleges and universities will have an opportunity to deploy both applications for classroom teaching, hands-on lab instruction, and personal student use, at no cost." Register here to be reminded to apply for the program once it's open.

PBS: The Crowd and the Cloud - The four part series on citizen science starts today on Public Broadcasting System stations across the U.S. Segments are online too, and include some geo topics such as OpenStreetMap and Public Lab.

On and Off Campus

i-Search Kelowna is a new, publicly available mapping tool, detailing all emergency shelter, assisted-living housing and low-income accommodation in Kelowna, BC. Developed by staff and students from UBC-Okanagan and Okanagan College, the project includes a database, search and mapping options. Will it be used? "...its use will be evaluated through direct user input and system generated data. Results of the evaluation will be posted on i-Search Kelowna in Fall 2017."

For Students

The Wisconsin Land Information Association (WLIA) Foundation, Inc. established the Damon Anderson Memorial Scholarship Fund to help students working toward a degree related to land information including GIS. Several $1,000 scholarships for the upcoming academic school year are awarded each summer to students attending accredited post secondary schools. There are few other benefits. Applications are due July 1.

High school students who have taken the AP Human Geography exam and scored 3 or higher are now eligible to become American Geographical Society Junior Service Fellows. The program requires receiving a badge, getting more badges, doing community service and paying $20 for membership. In return, students get, per Joshua Campbell of AGS, the benefit of "a pathway ... to contribute to human geography & achieve service credits."

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and Esri announce two opportunities for college and university students in the region to display their research at the annual Regional Conference & General Assembly on May 4-5 at the JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert. There are prizes. First deadline: April 11.
Medium: Your College Degree is Worthless - Isaac Morehouse argues that showing your skills beats showing your degree when it comes to getting a job.


Esri gave me a full registration to the American Association of Geographers meeting held in Boston this week.  I attended two education sessions on Wednesday. 

Careers and Professional Development
The organizer, Mark Revell, American Association of Geographers, did not show up. Neither did one of the presenters. The three presenters who did show up took the bull by the horns and presented their work. 

  • In-service teachers do not want exercises aligned to standards, they want activities. And, they want them all available on a single website after the workshop. 
  • Assessment is dull, but important. When discussing it with university administration, tie it in to money.
  • One presenter had her sister take her picture during the presentation to fewer than 10 attendees. 

Approaches to Geography Education and Educators
All five presenters showed up!
  • Drones are fun and faculty and students should use them.
  • Students perceive online and blended learning differently. The impact at one school was significant in that online intro world regional courses did not seem to drive as many new geography majors as face-to-face or blended ones.
  • You can teach teachers about spatial habits of mind. Having some base geospatial knowledge enhances uptake.
  • There's a current intervention at a charter school exploring the impact of about 30 minutes of spatial thinking education each day. There is a control group not receiving the enhancements. The intervention, in fourth grade classes, has lots of puzzles and patterns and drawing. It looked very Montessori (and very fun) to me.