Thanks to several dozen educators who attended this year's two rounds of self-organized sessions. Here's a brief recap of our "takeaways." Comments and corrections welcome!
Session 1 Groups
K-12 (growing GIS in K-12, professional development for teachers, etc)
1. GeoInquiries is an entry point for teachers to GIS
2. Teacher to teacher (face to face) is a more effective starting point than sending a teacher to a tech training website first.
3. Teachers need to be able/willing to learn with their students.
Research (spatial education research, future research, applying research to teaching)
1. Continue EdUC sessions on research including: the research agenda by Baker (et al), early stage research with a focus on K-12, highlight key studies spatial about which educators should be aware, focus on student learning not just professional development and teacher
2. Consider a symposium within EdUC focused on education research in GIS
3. Consider a session to help translate the language of GIS research across fields (we do not all use the same language)
Technology (credentials, access, credit management)
1. We have to keep tabs on resources and access points. Single sign on helps.
2. Communicate functionally unlimited nature of new higher ed site license
3. Take advantage of public ArcGIS Online to communicate to community about new resources
Curriculum (updating an intro GIS curriculum, sharing curriculum ideas, what should be in an intro curriculum)
1. Group wants to collaborate and share ideas that innovate teaching
2. Group will set up a Google Drive to share materials
3. Group recognizes these efforts have been tried before, but this effort aims to be more community focused
4. Further information will be posted to HigherEd-L
Session 2 Groups
Classroom Challenges (issues in the classroom, exercises, evaluations)
1. GIS Project Rubric (from Mike Charles, Pacific University) - He adds: "Here is a link to the research published in 2016 that we’ve done using that rubric that might also be of interest…and the full text version is downloadable."
2. Step by step vs. problem solving exercises; one indication that students have learned a new skill is when they begin helping one another with that skill; that may be when they are ready to take on problem solving
3. Students can make short videos/create explanatory screen shots for other students to overcome obstacles
Research (spatial thinking and evaluating spatial skills)
1. Spatial thinking's value is that it leads to STEM success and to what else?
2. Spatial thinking in GIS work seems to correlate with critical thinking
3. K-12 spatial thinking assessments for different grades would be useful
4. What GIS teaching methods lead to better attainment of spatial thinking outcomes
Moving from Beginning GIS User to Next Level User GIS (barriers moving from ArcGIS Online to Desktop)
1. Inconsistencies between the platforms (in desktop: file names can't start with a number or contain spaces) make growing from a user of story maps or a creator of ArcGIS Online maps to ArcGIS Desktop, far more difficult than it should be. Esri needs to address these issues to smooth the path from beginner to the next level, even for those who will never take a full on GIS course.