I just finished teaching a course this summer for educators, 5 weeks long, via www.enetlearning.org, a professional development organization for educators, entitled Teaching Geography in the 21st Century.
I describe it here with video link and text: http://blogs.esri.com/esri/gisedcom/2015/06/12/geography-summer-camp-online-5-week-geography-course/ and intro video here:
Platform: Moodle, an open source Learning Management System. ArcGIS Online worked very well in this LMS.
The course contained:
- 5 weeks of content.
- 7 videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLiC1i3ejK5vv0m8MT9Dz87P4HhLcLtfyJ)
- 12 discussion boards
- 5 hands-on sessions containing 20 total hands-on activities that mostly were bases on ArcGIS Online, but also Urban Observatory, Gapminder, Show Mapping Worlds, and the Change Matters viewer.
- 5 short quizzes
- Subject matter: population change, land use, climate and weather, natural hazards, business patterns, water, ecoregions, and demographics/lifestyles.
- Themes: systems thinking, scale, critical thinking, inquiry, and problem-solving.
- 3-part objective: developing core content knowledge, geographic skilsl including the use of geotechnologies, and developing the geographic / spatial perspective.
- Each week began with a few “local context” questions. For example, in the unit on natural hazards, I asked the participants to think about a memorable natural hazard that they had personally experienced, and to name the 3 most common natural hazards in their own community.
- There were also additional discussions in a “water cooler” area of the course, such as about the ConnectEd program, how to teach current events using ArcGIS Online, and so on.
- At the end I included another discussion forum where the participants outlined their plan of how they would implement what they have learned (which I think is something key that needs to be included).
Reactions: The 45 MAGNIFICENT participants in this course (mostly K-12 geography with some STEM educators; a few university level instructors, from all over the USA plus a few other countries) loved the hands-on work, the 3 part focus on content/skills/perspectives, the networking that the course offered, and in particular, ArcGIS Online!