Unsure of how to get started in helping a school use the freely available ArcGIS software? The great Esri folks who created the Teach with GIS Guides have now also created a Teach with GIS Implementation Guide for GeoMentors! Check it out for practical advice on getting started working with a K-12 school to use GIS.
ATTN Southern New England Educators. Workshop opportunity announcement from Peter Stetson:
"I am hosting two workshops this summer for Southern New England educators called the "Power of Data". It is a NSF grant through Northern Arizona University designed to provide a basic understanding of Geospatial Inquiry. The workshop is for middle and high school educators. They will be paid $700 through the grant for their participation in a 5 day 35 hour workshop. They are asked to enhance a lesson they already use incorporating geospatial inquiry. Once they present the lesson students are asked to complete an anonymous survey after which the educators will be paid an additional $200.
Workshop 1 is June 24-28 in Woodward Hall at the University of Rhode Island and workshop 2 is in ASF Middle School, Coventry, RI August 19-23. Interested educators can contact me for more information or a link to the application. Applications are due April 26, 2019."
Contact Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GeoMentor case studies document successful GeoMentoring engagements that not only show us how we can improve the program by learning from our GeoMentors' experiences, but also inspire and encourage other GeoMentors in their efforts! Check out our growing case study library to learn the different ways GeoMentors are working with the K-12 education community throughout the US. If you're interested in submitting your GeoMentor experience for a case study, we would appreciate you doing so through this survey.
City/State of School, School District, or Group: Workshops, training and geomentoring in over 200 school districts,43 charter schools and 50+ non-publics in Minnesota between 2014 and 2019. A continuing program to equip K12 teachers with GIS education, mentoring and support.
Grade level of students you or your educator collaborator work/worked with: K12 teachers in grades 2-12 were represented. We developed workshops and training for 790+ K12 teachers through face-to-face meetings and training. These teachers mainly represented middle and high school curriculum, but we have had over 40 elementary teachers get engaged. This training and mentoring has resulted in Minnesota winning the last two National Map Competition contests at the high school level and 30 winners of our State's Map Competition for middle and high school students over the past three years.
Subject/topic of class/group you assisted your collaborator with: All topics, mainly Science and Geography/History, but including agriculture, math, reading and literature.
Approximately how many students were engaged in GIS activities through this collaboration: Unknown ... but a lot! We have had over 400 students enter our three years of Minnesota on the Map GIS competitions. With 790+ teachers we could be reaching somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 students, or more, with some form of GIS education.
How did you connect with your collaborator? We connect through email and phone to Scott Freburg at MDE, through our workshops, training and Educator Day series and through AAG geo-mentor signups and State of Minnesota geomentor invitations.
Describe your collaboration process. Our geo-mentoring program is on-going and multiplying annually. We have about 45 teacher-mentor relationships right now and hoping to grow that substantially. Some of these relationships are ever-growing resulting in long term growth.
Describe the tasks you assisted your collaborator with. Everything from visiting classrooms to helping students with their Map Competition story maps to helping teachers find, and bring in data to ArcGIS. Almost any GIS geospatial activity has been rendered to teachers through our geomentor relationships.
What available resources, if any, did you use or help your collaborator use to implement GIS in K-12 education? We have definitely used resources from the GeoMentors website. We have also utilized Esri grants, GIS/LIS funding and curriculum including geoinquiries, story maps, spatial analysis, survey123 and collector.
Did you develop any new educational materials or GIS activities through your collaboration? We are working on a set of Minnesota based geoinquiries. The URL below points to a few of the GIs that are being developed. The Shipwrecks geoinquiry was the first one has been showcased and utilized in multiple workshops and teacher mentoring. Later this year we should have 6-7 additional geoinquiries based solely on Minnesota data.
What did you gain from the experience? What do you think your educator collaborator and/or the students gained? Working with teachers and students to help them gain GIS knowledge and develop spatial thinking skills is the best thing I have done in my 30 years in GIS. Helping formulate and develop these trainings and geomentoring relationships and then hearing of success stories ... Priceless!
At some point in the future all of this and much more will be showcased on our Minnesota Geospatial website. This will be an all-in-one website for K12 teachers. It will hold videos, training, curriculum, data and will continually evolve. The website is www.mngiseducation.org. For now it is more of a holding place but by this time in 2020 we expect it to be up and running with tons of K12 information.
Any additional comments about your experience? Without the collaboration of so many organizations and GIS professionals around the state, this would not be possible. Minnesota is known for its rich GIS history and our entrance into the K12 world has been nothing short of incredible. Minnesota is proud to be a leader in GIS and in helping K12 teachers and students become more spatially educated.
Questions can be sent to Scott Freburg, email@example.com
Each month we feature GeoMentor volunteers to showcase the wonderful talent available in our community to assist K-12 schools.
The December 2018 GeoMentors newsletter is out (and has been for a little bit, but we were on holiday....)! View the full issue here..
A GeoMentors Campaign for 2018 Geography Awareness Week and Beyond
Is there a book that inspires you as a geographer? A book that made you more interested and intrigued by geography? Perhaps a go-to text that you refer others to when they want to know more about being a geographer or about your area of research or teaching? If you had to give elementary, middle, or high school students a book to spark their interest in geography, (besides an atlas...) what would it be?
Adding geography to US K-12 schools isn’t just about finding ways to teach more geography directly in classrooms. It’s also about ways, big and small, to encourage students, or even just one student, to explore what geography has to offer and how it can help them understand their world. It can be about simply making more geography resources available for students to discover.
For GAW 2018, we encourage and challenge GeoMentors and geographers across the country to donate 1 geography book to a school or public library in your community.
Think outside the box, or perhaps we should say...outside the atlas. These don’t have to just be geography textbooks or even books that are overtly about the discipline of geography (geography doesn’t have to be in the title). Our discipline is diverse and many books are geographic in different ways - so be creative in thinking of books that excite you and ones that may also excite students!
Yes, I’m in! Now, how should I go about this?
New to book donations? Here are some tips from the American Library Association.
Just want to recommend a book?
Yes! As another way to participate in this campaign, you can donate your idea for a suggested good geography read! Share it with us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or tweet us @AAGGeoMentors (use #GeoReads & #GAW2018). If you have room, tell us why you recommend it too! We would love to share everyone’s suggestions and compile a list!
October 2018 GeoMentor Spotlight:
Jessica Rosales, ESRI Technical Certification Program Coordinator &Adjunct Instructor, University of Redlands School of Business
What was your favorite class in K-12? My high school participated with the Colton-Redlands-Yucaipa Regional Occupational Program (CRY-ROP). This coursework allowed me to earn a medical front and back office certificate, participate as an intern at our local medical office, and earn a scholarship to continue my education at our local community college. Learning technical skills in high school gave me direction and confidence to enter the workforce while I continued my education.
How did you first learn about and/or use GIS? While earning my bachelor’s degree at the University of Redlands, School of Business. I attended a Speaker Series presentation hosted by the School’s Center for Spatial Business (CSB). The ability to visualize demographic data by location was fascinating. I began volunteering at the CSB, where I learnt how to think spatially and use ArcGIS software to translate spatial thinking into maps.
Name one thing you love about GIS and/or geography (I know, just one!) I love that geography allows us to understand our biosphere and the impact of human activities, while a GIS allows us to organize, store, and visualize all the data about this relationship. It’s like peanut butter and chocolate – they’re both great but together they are awesome!
Why did you want to volunteer as a GeoMentor? As an adjunct instructor for the School of Business, I understand that it is often a struggle to navigate the complexities associated with providing students an opportunity to learn the functionality of ArcGIS, while teaching business theories, and soft-skills as one unified skill. I became a GeoMentor to support instructors as they navigate these complexities. I’ve always had a team of champions that mentored me, and I’d like to share that support with other instructors so that they can champion their student’s digital transformation.
What kind of GeoMentor volunteer opportunity and experience are you looking for? It would be an honor to assist higher education institutions integrate ArcGIS tools and workflows into their curriculum to enhance the learning experience of their students. Most of my mentorship experiences have been centered around understanding the business value of GIS, but I’m open to new opportunities.
If someone asked you why they should learn about GIS and/or geography, how would you respond in one sentence?
Students that use ArcGIS for their coursework can demonstrate their knowledge as a holistic project-based solution that better reflects workforce expectations. Regardless of industry, decision makers need to identify relationships and patterns within their data to determine if the results will support daily operations and competitive advantages.
Email address: JRosalesProductions@gmail.com
Questions? Email email@example.com.