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Thursday, August 29, 2019

GIS Education Weekly: Can Carmen Sandiego Fix America’s Geography Woes?

Education News
The spread of automated essay scoring

Vice: Flawed Algorithms Are Grading Millions of Students’ Essays - "Essay-scoring engines don’t actually analyze the quality of writing. They’re trained on sets of hundreds of example essays to recognize patterns that correlate with higher or lower human-assigned grades. They then predict what score a human would assign an essay, based on those patterns." Via Audrey Watters. The article includes an interactive map; screen capture at right.

TES: GCSE results: 'A tectonic shift in geography entries' - "Geopolitical and environmental crises help to explain why more students are choosing geography GCSE" There's a quote from Sir Michael Palin.

University of Michigan: Research shows certificates boost MOOC completion rates - "'The effect of paying is transient and lasts only for a few weeks, but the certificate effect lasts until the participant reaches the grade required to be eligible to receive the certificate,'” Sriram [S. Sriram, associate professor of marketing at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan] said." There are very few 100% free MOOCs that provide 100% free certificates anymore. I'm happy to report Esri MOOCs are among them.

Minot Daily News: Jim Hill teacher Kristi Reinke tries to keep geography interesting - "Minot Public Schools teacher of the year Kristi Reinke is always trying to make things new." Among other things she uses Mystery Skype.

EdSurge: Carmen Sandiego Is Back. But Can She Fix America’s Geography Woes? - "HMH [Houghton Mifflin Harcourt] says it refashioned Carmen as a 'global citizen' in response to requests for more material around social-emotional learning—which is to say the ambitious goal of teaching Americans geography has been somewhat scaled back in favor of lessons on community, world culture and responsibility." Short answer to question posed in the title of the article: "no."

NCRGE: NCRGE Initiates Research Networks on Geography Education and Libraries, Powerful Geography, and the NAEP Geography Assessment - "The National Center for Research in Geography Education (NCRGE) has initiated three research networks supporting further implementation of the Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education project’s landmark report on geography education research. " The projects: Geography Education and Libraries, Powerful Geography, NAEP Geography Assessment.

Spectrum: New autism map points to diagnostic deserts in United States - A new online database called GapMap includes 28,000 autism resources such as therapy clinics, educational supports and diagnostic centers. Autistic people in the U.S. live 11 miles, on average, from a resource and about 22 miles from a diagnostic center.

Harbour Times: Geographic Information System enhances young people’s analytical capabilities - "Three years ago, Hong Kong Education City (HKEdCity) collaborated with Esri China (Hong Kong) to offer the professional geographic information system (GlS) software to primary and secondary school students in Hong Kong free of charge, with a hope that the software can enhance young people’s problem-solving abilities." The article by Adjunct Professor, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Architecture, University of Hong Kong recaps the impact of the collaboration and the results of a recent competition.

Resources for Teaching and Learning

Twitter: And now, a full-throated defense of using ZIP Codes for spatial analysis - Bill Morris responds to the CARTO post I noted last week. He argues: "ZIPs should only be used in a worst-case scenario, sometimes you find yourself presented with the worst case. And I'll offer a few gentle nudges of reassurance to you poor souls."

Science: Geography of loss—a global look at the uneven toll of suicide - This set of maps is part of a series of articles on suicide. Slightly related: A Massachusetts representative proposed a bill making 988 a national suicide call line. Yes, please.

GeoNet (Esri): World Geography GeoInquries - "The long-awaited World Geography GeoInquiries collection has released 15 "Level 1" activities and ArcGIS Online maps, based on the content from the award-winning book, Mapping Our World. The activities are designed for middle and lower-high school geography classrooms, are based on the C3 Framework for social studies, and tied to leading world geography textbooks. All activities are licensed under Creative Commons for easy reuse by educators."

The Denver Channel: CU Anschutz unveils out-of-home gun storage map to help improve safety, prevent suicide - "Faculty members with the Colorado School of Public Health and University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus said this new tool, called the Colorado Gun Storage Map , can help improve safety and prevent suicide. Using the map, community members in a crisis can pick where they want to temporarily and voluntarily keep their firearm." Those offering the service include law enforcement, guns shops and others.

LinkedIn: GIS Career Reflections and Opinions - Nathan Heazlewood shares the results of a survey on GIS career experiences and preparation. I did not have time to visualize the results or draw any conclusions. The sample size (N) is currently small (less than 100 when I last looked); Nathan is looking for more participants.

NOAA: Using Flood Exposure Maps Webinar - On September 5 NOAA offers a live, online interview (about 40 minutes) with a guest speaker who has experience using flood maps to engage stakeholders. Free; includes certificate of attendance.

Twitter: Birds as GIS Software - A thread from Caitlin Dempsey of GIS Lounge finding birds that match the colors of GIS software logos. This is just fun; special thanks to Caitlin for careful attention to attribution.

Universal Hub: For $300, Amazon could have ordered a GPS from Amazon that would have kept another Amazon truck driver from smashing into that bridge in Dedham - Meta!

Points of Interest (Mapbox Blog): Mapping 70 billion pain pills by pharmacy location - Mapbox shares some of the details on how the Washington Post made the map.

TES: How a Bake Off teacher uses cake in geography lessons - "The new series of The Great British Bake Off sparked an unlikely education debate last night after revealing that one of its contestants uses her cakes to help teach geography." She uses cake to teach coastal erosion.

On and Off Campus

West Virginia Explorer: Shepherd University to use drones to help U.S. Forest Service - "Faculty and students from Shepherd University will travel to Randolph County over the next five years, where they will use the school’s drone fleet to help the U.S. Forest Service reclaim strip-mined land in the Monongahela National Forest, according to school officials."

Neiman Lab: Every crime map needs context. This USC data journalism project aims to scale it - "The grant provides around $120,000 per year for five years, and the team now includes part-time data scientists to crunch the numbers, designers to visualize the trends, and journalists to put it all into context [for local communities]. This is Crosstown LA, a nonprofit news project based at USC, but it has the potential to expand to other regions."

University of Hawaii: UH Mānoa provides new features in new online campus map - "The new map has search functions to find specific buildings or points of interest. It can help users locate the closest ATM, water refill station or eating spot. It will help users find services such as lactation stations or where to pay for parking."

Programs and Courses

University of Northern Colorado: UNC welcomes new changes on campus - Among building and institute changes is merging and renaming. "The name changes have also affected two departments that were formerly separate. The geography and GIS and Environmental and Sustainability Studies is now known as Geography, GIS, and Sustainability."

The Tripolitan (Troy University, Alabama): New Troy department prepares students for wide range of technical careers - "Geospatial informatics launched this May under the College of Arts & Sciences, merging the preexisting surveying and geomatics science program in the math department with the faculty of geography from the department of social sciences. The department offers a surveying and geomatics sciences program along with minors in unmanned aerial systems (UAS), geographic information systems (GIS), surveying and geomatics sciences and geography. The UAS, GIS, geography and surveying and geomatics sciences minors can all be completed online."