I work as a consulting Information System Designer and spend considerable time helping organizations to identify and manage information using the best tools for each job. It saddens me that the power of GIS and spatial analysis is not more widely used by organizational teams.
As a community service, to promote digital data literacy, I am working in 2015 to develop real-world, open data-driven lessons for problem-based or project-based learning modules used in education or agency training settings.
I am exploring on GeoNet because ESRI offered a wonderful online MOOC on spatial analysis. Today I was contemplating how I could translate this concept of spatial analysis to my modules so that I could have schools utilize free, open source products. I was exploring the ESRI developer pages, dreading the work of building interfaces for the modules. I sat through an interoperability webinar and thought I'd peek at the news segments before signing out... I was delighted to notice this linked news item about ESRI's founder Jack Dangermond. It reveals his passion to invest in the next generation by providing high quality GIS tools to public school systems.
I recently attended the Florida Digital Classroom Initiative in Tampa, hosted by Sen John Legg, MOSI and Tampa Bay Technology Forum. Panelists discussed the diversity of needs and implementations of technology in school systems and classrooms across the state to an audience of educators, high tech entrepreneurs and software companies. A truly wide gap in implementation involved tech enabled curriculum and teacher training to handle open-ended, technology enhanced lessons.
The recent MOOC hosted by ESRI would be an excellent method for teachers to explore spatial analysis and enhance lesson and curriculum development. Knowing that ESRI is supporting educators out there, I can concentrate on my curriculum content and worry less about the technology tool. I also need to thank ESRI for introducing me to udemy.com, which was used as a MOOC presentation system.
Tech or software companies are seldom so progressive, helpful or inspirational. I hope your investment in the next generation brings the world more of this attitude ... as well as understanding the power of spatial analysis.