Fun with GIS 292: ArcGIS Hub: Keystone for Schools & Districts

07-26-2021 04:31 AM
Esri Regular Contributor
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ArcGIS Online is a vast infrastructure with unfathomable capacity. An ArcGIS Online Organization provides schools and districts a "walled garden" to engage that capacity, with secure logins for all members, who can make, save, and share items with the whole Org or with just Groups. But how can leaders coordinate resources, activities, and projects that integrate GIS? If a district of 10,000 students has 15 schools, how can each school have its own "custom presence?" How can leaders optimize using the tools, powers, privileges, and devices within the school/s?

Say hello to ArcGIS Hub -- a website builder. Every ArcGIS School Bundle provides an ArcGIS Online Organization, and every Org includes Hub Basic. (Schools don't need Hub Premium because they get unlimited logins.) With this, schools and districts can generate an unlimited number of custom "sites."



What can Hub sites look like and do? See these public examples from the Esri Schools Team:

2 ArcGIS Online Competition for US HS+MS
5https://gisclubkit-k12.hub.arcgis.comGIS Club Kit
6https://tvc-k12.hub.arcgis.comTeacher Video Challenge
7https://educ-k12.hub.arcgis.com2020 Education GIS Summit for Schools
8https://t3ghub-esrit3g.hub.arcgis.comTeachers Teaching Teachers GIS (T3G)


What are some key visible commonalities of these examples of Hub Basic?

  1. Custom purpose
  2. Custom design (including variable appearance, length, and number of pages)
  3. Easy inclusion of interactive maps and apps (including surveys, dashboards, storymaps)
  4. Mobile-friendly (try shrinking them!)
  5. URL: {sitename}-{ORGprefix} (note: 3 in "education" Org, 4 in "k12" Org)

What are some key invisible commonalities of these examples of Hub Basic?

  1. Sharing is just like that for any Org resource: private, group(s), Org, public; a page can be public, and have public items, plus Org-only items, plus group-only contents
  2. Editing privileges can be shared with individuals or groups
  3. Authoring is simple: Lots of clicking choices, drag&drop, and easy configuring
  4. Easy to clone and share or change ownership of pages or even sites (think "template")
  5. Easy to include shared resources from other ArcGIS Online Orgs



So what? With Hub, it is easier to share more content more appropriately, and easier to have more schools in a single Org, which boosts the value of single sign-on and helps teachers coordinate resources within their grade/subject/activity. Even within a large district Org, each school, department, and teacher can have their own page/s, so any district can have the customization of individual Orgs plus the efficiency of a single Org.

Imagine for instance a district with 3 high schools, in which a total of 7 teachers tackle 25 sections of Human Geography -- 11 at AP level, 14 at standard level. There can easily be both congruence and customization across all.

Is it easy for educators to build hubs? See the Teachers Teaching Teachers GIS (T3G) Webinar on Hub, showing creation process and design considerations.

The ArcGIS School Bundle is available for free for instructional use, to all schools and districts. ArcGIS Online Organizations are "bridges" that enable any number of users to access the extraordinary powers of the ArcGIS Online infrastructure. ArcGIS Hub is the keystone that can "complete" each bridge, the key with which to connect and unlock the power.

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.