Fun with GIS 280: Teachers Teaching Teachers GIS

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For most educators, time is a "top three" resource. In this 24x7 connected but COVID-fractured world, a little time with a peer group can seem a vacation. Focusing on one's craft, hearing from others enduring familiar challenges, and discovering peers' secrets can bring a sprinkle of joy, a glimmer of hope, a touch of stability, even a pinch of self-worth, all oases to educators "alone in a desert."

In 2009, Esri launched a week-long residential summer institute for educators. GIS technology was a challenge for educators to pick up on their own, so "Teachers Teaching Teachers GIS" (aka "T3G") was a professional development experience that introduced new visions, tools, strategies, and friendships. The T3G mission was to help more educators be able to use GIS in instruction, improve the educational experience for all, and thereby build a better world.

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The blistering evolution in technology, GIS, and digital learning took us from disconnected desktop tools to online mapping to remote learning. The 2017, '18, and '19 institutes occurred on Zoom, after which the explosion of content meant teachers could learn on their own; fragmentation of time necessitated a "just in time" fashion. But the networking continued, by email, forum, webinar, and physical events.

T3G was born a closed group but, with COVID, opened its doors to any interested educator. The requirement for membership remains as "a passion for helping other educators use GIS in instruction," but the fundamental resources we rely on to teach learners of all ages are publicly available, at https://esriurl.com/t3g. A listserv, forum, webinar, and hoped for in-person meetings still bind us together.

January's "T3G Third Thursday Webinar," Thu Jan 21 at 5-6pmPT, will be a chance to share something that helped during the period from March-December of 2020. With time ever more precious, we invite educators to invest an hour and take a bit of solace, a tech hint, or a teaching strategy. See the webinar page, put your own entry in the survey, register to attend, and join us, at https://esriurl.com/t3g.

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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 ** https://www.esri.com/schools ** https://k12.maps.arcgis.com ** https://arcg.is/usk12gis ** Only education can save the world.