The GIS community has always had strong connections to education. For years, many GIS professionals have freely given their time and skills to encourage and foster the use of GIS in geography, language arts, history, biology, environmental studies, mathematics, and other disciplines in schools. A geomentor program is a structured and safe framework that provides a network through which faculty, students, and GIS, geography, and/or STEM professionals come together on a regional or national scale to promote the use of spatial thinking and GIS in education in concrete ways. Geomentor programs usually focus on primary and secondary schools. Esri and the AAG have been collaborating on a geomentoring program for years that is encouraging deep and frequent use of GIS in public, private, and home schools in the USA. Some other countries have expressed interest in beginning their own geomentoring programs.
To encourage geomentoring programs, I have created a new presentation and three geomentoring videos that cover my own background in geomentoring and credentials in this subject; four tenets of geomentoring; and why I believe this is the ideal time to start a geomentoring program in your part of the world and/or tap into the existing geomentor networks that already exist (such as geomentors.net in the USA for example). These resources also cover what geoliteracy is, advice in setting up a geomentor program, important traits in any geomentor program, ways of geomentoring, success stories, messages to give to students, tips to help geomentors engage with faculty or students, and ways geomentors could use web GIS, crowdsourcing, field work, spatial analysis, and story mapping in their geomentoring efforts.
Presentation: Mentoring for GeoLiteracy
Video series, Part 1:
Video series, Part 2:
Video series, Part 3:
Geomentoring is wonderfully diverse, and can take many forms. This presentation and videos do not represent the only way that geomentoring can be done, but simply some guidance. It is heartfelt and it is my hope that it sparks some ideas, and encourages more involvement in this important effort, globally.