Fun with GIS 262: When School is Disrupted

03-09-2020 05:00 AM
Esri Regular Contributor
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Disruptions come in all magnitudes, durations, formats, causes, and degree of foreseeability. After coping with life trauma and handling the logistics around disruptions great and small, how can GIS help students engage in school, learn, even progress? Esri provides schools and districts a great raft of free content, tools, and instructional activitie... that teachers and students can use, together or separately. Here are some options.

If the students don’t have ArcGIS Online logins available…

1. For the teacher: Visit Explore “Instructional Resources” first, then “Educator Support.” Open the “Getting Started for Educators” item and go through #1-9 in sequence, quickly, and eventually through #15. In #14, determine if the school/district has software, and, if not, request software for the school. Use the “AGO Orgs for Schools” doc to guide implementation and set up student logins. Meanwhile, continue with items below.

2. Have students go through a GeoInquiries activity of relevance, using the prepared text or teacher-generated instructions. (If you have not used GeoInquiries, see the GeoInquiries StoryMap. If this is students' first time with GeoInquiries, have them first watch the “About GeoInquiries” video.) Have them arrange the map to show what they choose, create three screenshots, annotate the screenshots If desired using image software, and use a word processor to assemble the images into a story with explanatory text.

3. Have students use ArcGIS Online Map Viewer to assemble a single map of personal content, with a set of Map Notes (points, lines, areas, text) about a specific topic (e.g. personal history, review of previous topic, item of personal interest, etc). Create screenshots with specific assemblages of content displayed (turned “on”), and use a word processor to assemble the screenshots into a story with text.

4. Have students explore the collection of public Story Maps, use one or more as content to study, take appropriate screenshots, and use a word processor to construct a summary.

5. Have students explore four Story Maps (one each of four different formats) from the public gallery and create a summary of characteristics and capacities noticed within the technology. What techniques tend to yield effective story maps?

6. From the results of the ArcGIS Online Competition for US HS+MS Students, have students explore four different story maps. What commonalities exist in the state and national awardees? What are some situations in which a student could have been more successful with a different technique?

If the students have ArcGIS Online logins available…

7. Have students go through a GeoInquiries activity, then save the map into their contents, then build a Presentation of at least 3 frames explaining the importance of the content and the patterns and relationships visible.

8. Have students assemble a “personal map and Presentation”: Use Map Viewer to assemble a single map of their choice, creating or uploading or accessing data, then create a “Presentation” of at least three frames out of the elements.

9. Have students with publishing credentials create a Survey123 form through which to gather data about a relevant topic. Have them share the survey with all members of the class.

10. Have students build a StoryMap, using classic templates or the new template. Topic options could include:

  • focus on the class (e.g. review the year to date)
  • focus on the disruption (e.g. tell the story of the event causing disruption)
  • assemble your life geography (e.g. where have you been and what factors led you here)
  • share a topic of personal interest (e.g. “if I had 2 weeks to focus all day on a topic of influence on my life today, including to prepare a presentation about it, it would be about … and go something like this …”)
  • design a research project (e.g. plan out the project steps and timelines)

ArcGIS Online allows users to explore, create, analyze, and integrate endless content across disciplines, then design presentations, and share everything. For educators needing to adapt to disruptions in school, having resources that facilitate such work can generate significant value in place of potentially lost instructional opportunity, from a single “sub day” to an extended school closing.

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Follow-up: Because so many schools are juggling their instructional calendar and methods, I am continuing this with "School Disruptions 2," posted Sunday March 15, 2020. - Charlie

And, see also Tom Baker's blog "Is Your School/District Moving Courses Online posted Monday March 16, 2020. - Charlie

About the Author
** Esri Education Mgr, 1992-today ** Esri T3G staff, 2009-present ** Social Studies teacher, grades 7-12, 1977-1992 (St. Paul, MN) ** NCGE Distinguished Teacher Award 1991, George J Miller Award 2016 ** ** ** ** Only education can save the world.