GIS or a Geographic Information System is geographic mapping and analysis software used to collect, display, analyze, and communicate information and stories about a wide range of social and natural phenomena tied to specific locations.
GIS runs on mobile devices, laptops, servers, and in the cloud and is used globally in every industry, from law enforcement to marketing analytics. GIS is the central technology in the geospatial family of technologies. Other technologies like GPS, drones, image processing, and remote sensing are also often included in this family of technologies. Today, geospatial technologies are playing critical roles in data science, self-driving vehicles, 5G communications, and much more.
GIS software is free for K-12 classroom instruction. A classroom teacher or building administrator simply needs to complete the form. Several desktop, web, and mobile software products are included with the software. If you are new to GIS, we recommend starting with ArcGIS Online and then moving to ArcGIS Pro (Microsoft Windows-only).
With an ArcGIS Online account, “Enable Esri Access”. This will allow both teachers and students to search for and enroll in a number of online Esri Training courses. If you don’t know where to start, take a closer look at these courses first. Good courses to start with include:
Another great way to learn about Esri technology is by searching through the “Learn ArcGIS” content. These are activities that can typically be completed in one or two class periods.
Finally, for teachers, we recommend earning an Esri Technical Certification. These certifications are not designed for K12 students, but we do encourage CTE educators to build the skills necessary to earn the “Entry level ArcGIS Desktop” certification.
For additional learning opportunities, search through the Esri Press catalogue. Take particular note of materials in the education and training section of the catalogue.
Finally, engage fellow CTE teachers in the GeoNet Project reserved just for CTE teachers and be sure to add your dot the CTE map.