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

Thursday, June 20, 2019

GIS Education Weekly: Discussing APHG Results

On and Off Campus

WDBJ7: University of Lynchburg students create interactive map of local history - A group from the University of Lynchburg produced an interactive digital map in honor of the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Lynchburg during the Civil War. I think it's this next generation storymap.

LinkedIn:  International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Report - "Check out the University of Delaware student chapter of ICMA's 2018-19 annual report! The Esri GIS cascade story map showcases the location and scope of chapter activities during its inaugural year!" Via Marcia Scott. This will be a nice artifact for a student's portfolio.

CU Boulder: Maps of fallen kingdom shed light on Atlantic slave trade - Henry Lovejoy, an assistant professor of history at CU Boulder offers 21 maps, including one that is animated, illustrating boundaries of the kingdom of Oyo. The kingdom, from which slaves were taken, is in present-day southwestern Nigeria, parts of Benin and Togo. He imported data "into Quantum GIS, which is an open source version of the popular mapping software." Students are not the only ones confused about open source software.

UWO: Tornado project expansion to deepen understanding, save lives - "Western is poised to become the country’s leading authority on tornado tracking and research thanks to a major expansion of its Northern Tornadoes Project. With a goal of detecting and analyzing every tornado in Canada, project organizers know its findings will save lives, mitigate losses and strengthen our understanding of severe storm activity." There's an open data site, too. A valuable data source.

The University News: SLU and WashU Join Forces to Create COLLAB - "SLU and Washington University have partnered to create COLLAB, an academic space within the Cortex geared to host new collaborations in engineering, entrepreneurship and research." An existing joint course “Ideas of Mass Disruption” be offered in the COLLAB; it combines cybersecurity and entrepreneurship strategies to address real world problems of the National Geospatial Agency and other business cases.  Another GIS education opportunity related to NGA's move to St. Louis.

UMN: Mapping Prize—2019 Best Maps - "The U-Spatial Mapping Prize encourages students at the University of Minnesota to make provocative and innovative maps. The Mapping Prize is made possible by a generous gift from U of M alumnus Jack Dangermond, founder and president of Esri." Most winners are story maps or apps; I see just two "traditional" maps or posters.


Twitter: A thread on APHG results from @AP_Trevor - "The percentage of students earning 3+ in AP Human Geography is the lowest it’s been this decade; this year, many more students failed to demonstrate the content/skills required for college credit, making this the only subject in which more than a 1/3 of AP students score a 1." I wonder what prompts students with so little knowledge to take the exam.

Twitter: Response thread from @professordixon: "Absolutely true, but it is important to remember that #APHG is also the only subject where over 1/3 of the students taking the exam are high school freshman." So perhaps the value of taking the test for some students is preparation for future AP tests?

Programs and Courses

thinkWhere: Working with the University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland - “If these needs [training for graduate students] cannot be met internally, by colleagues or university staff, then we look to the commercial sector for help," says the Graduate School Training Officer. The company has been training students on QGIS. There is money to be made teaching QGIS. I'm seeing more and more online and face to face offerings.

Resources for Teaching and Learning

UMN : Story Map Curriculum Portal - Lots of valuable resources for educators exploring the use of story maps in assignments. I like the idea of assigning digital mapping (not just story maps) to students across the curriculum, not just in geography.

Esri (GeoNet): Fun with GIS 249: The ArcGIS School Bundle - The Esri K-12 bundle for schools and youth clubs is free and supported until at least 2023. This is the second renewal of the program once known as ConnectED.

Google Earth Education Community: Anyone can join via Google Group. Via @geteach. There was not a lot of content when I visited. I've not found an active online GIS education "learning community" despite many launches. I started this newsletter in part to fill the gap.

Esri (GeoNet): 2018-2019 K12 Teacher Video Challenge Winners - The winning videos 2018-2019 K12 teacher video challenge  are posted. Each winner received $500. The May winner is from Charlton, MA (out by Worcester). There is a Charlestown, MA but that's different. Massachusetts is complicated!

Mini Book Review: I just finished The New Childhood: Raising Kids to Thrive in a Connected World. The book helped me understand how today's young people (K-12) are learning the same lessons about socialization with tech that that previous generations (like mine) learned without it. Jordan Shapiro, a father of two boys, uses many examples from his life. He stresses that we adults need to engage in the worlds young people inhabit - video games, social media and whatever comes next. I pick books from the new non-fiction shelves of my local library. I always find something interesting there!


Loma Linda: School of Public Health celebrates graduates at 2019 Commencement - Seth Wiafe, PhD, the director of health geoinformatic sciences and assistant professor for the Center for Health Strategy and Innovation won the Distinguished Faculty Service Award. He's been promoting GIS in public health for some time.

Forbes: GPS Pioneer And Garmin Cofounder Gary Burrell Dies At 81 - "In the early 1980s, when Burrell was working for aerospace and engineering firm Allied Signal, the engineering world was abuzz with talk of the federal government building a new tracking device using satellite technology. In 1989 Allied Signal cut its research budget, and Burrell and his colleague Kao, a Taiwanese engineer who had developed the first GPS receiver for planes, thought the military-grade technology would be a hit in the consumer market. Over dinner at a Red Lobster in Olathe, Kansas, the two decided to pursue a business venture together. Garmin, which is a portmanteau of the founders’ first names, was born." Burrell and Garmin are important part of recent geo history. Besides, educators can also teach about portmanteaus! 

Sam Houston State: Geography Professor Selected For African Diaspora Support Fellowship - "Samuel Adu-Prah, associate professor of geography at Sam Houston State University, has been awarded a fellowship by the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa –CODESRIA to travel to Ghana this summer to work with Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and Divine Odame Appiah to train graduate students and faculty on current applied geospatial technologies for social science research." I'm always happy to hear about fellowships for less explored topics.


Hexagon: Hexagon's Geospatial Division Adds M.App Enterprise and M.App X to Education Program - "Hexagon’s Geospatial Division will make its M.App Enterprise and M.App X solutions available through its global Education Program beginning 11 June 2019. This addition will offer students a chance to experience enhanced geospatial app building and deployment, giving them a technical edge in a competitive job market." I took advantage of Intergraph's education program, now part of Hexagon, when I taught at Penn State. It was quite generous.

Engadget: Twitter removes precise geo-tagging option from tweets - "Twitter has announced it will be removing the ability to tag your precise location from tweets. In a tweet from its support account, the company explained that most users didn't use the location-tagging feature and removing it would 'simplify' the tweeting experience. The one exception will be tweeted photos from Twitter's updated camera." Remember that a very small percentage of tweets ever had location information. That did not preclude students and researchers from mapping them.