Fun with GIS 263: School Disruption 2

03-15-2020 10:20 AM
Esri Regular Contributor
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Last week (see Fun with GIS 262) I posted strategies for schools to consider when disruption happens. School closings (and more) across the states (and globally) in the wake of Coronavirus/COVID-19 call for even more attention. Since many people are hurriedly shifting instructional tactics, here are some frequently asked questions.

      1. Q: "I see on the Esri Schools map ( that our school has software, but nobody knows who. How do we learn who has it?" A: Email "" with school name, city, state, and zip, and we can help connect you.
      2. Q: "We received software. How do I set up logins for students and teachers?" A: The ArcGIS Online Organization first needs to be "activated" (a three-step process), then the Org admin can set up logins. See guidance in Pay attention to "single sign-on and CSV." People will use these logins constantly, so be thoughtful about this process, do it carefully, and document what you do.
      3. Q: "One of my students can't see his content when he logs in." A: Ensure the student has logged into the proper location. Students MIGHT also have created their own public login as well, and gotten the two confused. After logging in, what does the URL show to the left of ""? Does it look like "" or like ""? The first is public, the second is an Organization. A single email address can be used for multiple logins. Just like if you have two accounts at a single bank/store/socialmedia/etc, make sure you log into the correct one.
      4. Q: "Students and teachers alike forget logins and passwords and we don't have 'single sign-on.' How do we help them out?" A: There are three possible steps to try, in sequence.
        1. STEP1: Go to and enter your email address to get a list of usernames attached to that address. (If the user's email is not used in the username profile, the user should confer with the Org admin.)
        2. STEP2: Go to and request a password reset for a given username. If the username had been operational, an email with a link will be sent to the email address attached to that username (might be the user, or the Org admin, or an email alias, depending on how the Org was set up). Click the link in that email to establish a new password (must be sufficiently strong), and record what password is established!
        3. STEP3: If either step above doesn't work, contact "," and clarify the situation (provide school name/city/state/ZIP, Org admin name and email, user's name and email, etc), and wait for a human to respond.
      5. Q: "The info from the troubleshooting page says 'Esri access not enabled.' What do I do?" A: There are two important locations for Esri technology. Those including “” are sites where mapping happens. Those including “” are sites about mapping. "Esri access not enabled" does not mean a username is locked out from making maps; it just means that ArcGIS Online Org admins have not granted to that particular username the permission to sign into special places on, such as to converse on GeoNet (, or to take courses on Esri's Training site ( That username may still make maps, publish data, and share items, to the limit allowed by the Org admin. The default setting for any new username is "Esri access disabled" (even for the admin), and an admin must proactively change that if s/he wants to allow those special privileges. See "Managing Esri Access" (p.30) of See also
      6. Q: "Some users in our Org have an 'Analysis' button and some do not. How do I let others do analysis?" A: Doing analysis is a process that generates services, which get stored in one's contents. That process requires the user to have a role in ArcGIS Online with "publishing privileges." Org Admins and the standard "Publisher" role can publish, and thus do analysis; other roles lack that privilege. Custom roles might or might not have received the privilege. See (p.9-11 and the links to the online help).
      7. Q: "We have our logins, but can't figure out how kids can collaborate on a project." A: See the summary in Fun with GIS 227. That document does not mention the new StoryMap template but the same rules apply. There are ways to collaborate; you just need to know what works and what doesn't.
      8. Q: "How do I know that each student actually did his or her own work?" It's always hard to tell anytime you're not seeing the activities being done. Note the usernames attached to contents. If students work in groups, have them comment on their portion, and how it looks and works, and comment on others' components. Have students do a project storyboard first, then individual tasks: design, creation, analysis, documentation. Easiest, everyone does their own project.
      9. Q: "We made a spreadsheet and saved it as a CVS {sic} file but it won't drag and drop on the map or even add to contents like I've seen people do. What gives?" A: See this doc: This is usually a sign of an improperly constructed CSV (comma separated values) file. A good table needs correct structure, carefully adhered to in each cell.
      10. Q: "Where can I find good instruction to learn to do cool things with ArcGIS Online?" A: There are multiple resources, depending on how much you know, how much time you can spend, and what you want to learn. See:
        1. ((Last week's blog on disrupted instruction))
        2. ((Training: ArcGIS Online: Getting Started items))
        3. (("Teach with"-focused portion of
        4. ((Path for Teachers in
        5. ((K12 Org))
        6. [And, as of April 01, 2020] ((Mapping Hour))
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.