Schools Mapping Software Bundle: Crucial Resources Following Activation

3 weeks ago
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If you have activated your Schools Mapping Software Bundle, use these resources as a best practice for getting your Organization up and running. Email with any additional questions.


ArcGIS Online Organizations for Schools & Clubs


This document provides guidance for K12 (primary and secondary) schools on the use of ArcGIS Online Organizations. It gives the basic info needed to understand what an Organization is and does and why schools and districts should use them, without burying the viewer in minutiae. It presents guidance and suggestions, not hard and fast rules. It includes links for more information on key matters. It gets updated on an as-needed basis.


Protecting Your Students' Anonymity


A question we hear often from educators is how to share student content beyond the organization without exposing personally identifiable information (PII). Student logins should be created without using PII (see this guide). Organization administrators should also restrict student roles from sharing content outside the organization.


To maximize personal security but permit sharing, the organization administrator should create a showcase login into which content can be moved or copied and then shared. Here's how to do that:


  • Create a new login and build a proper profile with descriptive text, contact info, and an appropriate logo.
  • Optimize the profile by adding a role and a group.
  • For content to be shared from the organization instead of from a specific user, change the item ownership from the creator login to the showcase login, then share.


Please note: In cases where there are other teachers using this organization, a plan should be established for routinely informing you, the administrator, of new content to be shared publicly. Using a schedule will encourage production of new student content while making the workflow easy for the administrator to implement.


Easily Add Members to Your ArcGIS Online Organization


As an administrator of your school's ArcGIS Online organizational account, you can add students or teachers directly, in bulk. Here are step-by-step instructions.


Pro Tip: The email you use for each student member can be an alias going to the organization administrator. The password is temporary, so it can be generic; users are forced to change it immediately upon their first access.


Using Single Sign-On


Single sign-on (SSO) can reduce the liabilities of teachers managing student accounts and allow teachers to focus on teaching with GIS. Moreover, SSO gives everyone in the school or district access to the software. See this LinkedIn article Five Reasons to Use Single Sign-On in Schools.


Managing Esri Access


Esri Access connects users who have ArcGIS Online logins with allowing users to:


As an administrator of your ArcGIS Online organizational account, it's important to know:

  • By default, users with ArcGIS Online logins have Esri Access disabled (even administrator accounts). Esri access may be enabled during the creation of logins using a spreadsheet.
  • Even with Esri Access disabled, a user with a login may still make maps, publish data, and share items in ArcGIS Online.

Follow these steps to enable Esri access.


Educator Support Resource Page


Many resources exist to help teachers and club leaders learn about GIS and mapping. This educator support resource webpage will provide you ways to get started in GIS, incorporate GIS in classrooms, become a GeoMentor, participate in the Teacher Video Challenge, and more. 


ArcGIS Online Help for Teachers and Students

ArcGIS Online Help is a great resource for teachers and students to learn more about:

  • Creating maps and apps
  • Performing analyses
  • Sharing content
  • Managing data
  • Administering your organization


ArcGIS Online Help also offers short exercises to take—many of them are only 20 minutes in length!


Helpful Courses from Esri Academy

Teaching with GIS Web Course provides practical ideas for GIS activities that enhance student learning and critical thinking skills.

Get to Know GIS (for Secondary Students) is a five-part online course where students and teachers can learn the basics and see how workers use GIS to solve problems.


Mapping Hour Episodes for Parents and Teachers


Mapping Hour is a collection of one-hour instructional videos about ArcGIS Online for parents and teachers. These videos are intended to equip you with GIS tools to help you teach engaging lessons and activities with your own kids and students at home.


A total of 20 instructional videos are available for you to watch and re-watch as often as you'd like. Each video dives deep into many topics such as:

  • Instruction with GeoInquiries
  • Basic pedagogical practices for teaching
  • An introduction to ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World
  • Exploring Learn ArcGIS lessons and learn paths

Please send your feedback and questions to


Supporting Student Collaboration in ArcGIS


Many educators want to support collaboration, and although physical distancing makes it a challenge, collaboration is still doable and powerful.


Different strategies support collaboration using ArcGIS, such as:

  • Students entering data into a common feature layer.
  • Students sharing layers and maps in a group for others to use in their own creations.
  • Different users generating different content before merging.
  • Admins changing the ownership of an item.

Each strategy has advantages and benefits and works well under different use cases. Each takes good planning and careful communication. Read more about student collaboration.


Annual ArcGIS Online Competition for High School and Middle School Students 


The annual ArcGIS Online Competition for High School and Middle School Students is open for students to work individually or as a team. Here are some important details about the competition:

  • Teachers and faculty must ensure their state is registered to participate.
  • Middle school (grades 4–8) and high school (grades 9–12) students in the US can participate.
  • Student projects must analyze, interpret, and present data via an ArcGIS web app or story map.
  • Ten $100 prizes will be given to five high school students and five middle school students.
  • The grand prize will include a trip to the 2020 Education Summit @ Esri UC in San Diego, California, which will be awarded to one middle school and one high school student.


Download the competition postcard.


View Student Activity in Your ArcGIS Organization


In your school's ArcGIS Online organizational account, you can access valuable information on student engagement, such as:

  • Content students find most interesting
  • How students are using their credits
  • What apps students are creating
  • Which students are more active than others

Follow these steps to access this information:


  1. Use your administrator credentials to log in to your ArcGIS Online organizational account.
  2. From the Overview page, in the Credits box, click the link "View Status".
  3. Use the navigation bar to explore what is going on in your organization


Understanding Credit Budgeting and Allocation


Credits are the currency used across ArcGIS Online and are consumed by storage and specific transactions. As administrator of an ArcGIS Online organizational account, you can manage credit expenditures by setting credit budgets for students and teachers in your organization, with different amounts for different roles.


Use these detailed instructions to enable credit budgeting and allocation.