Teaching Geography in the 21st Century - Online course - Summary

Blog Post created by jkerski-esristaff Employee on Aug 13, 2015

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:



  • 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!