GeoMentor Case Study: Destry D., Teaching ArcGIS Online to 7th Graders in Wyoming

01-29-2016 11:37 AM
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City/State of School, School District, or Group:  Kemmerer, Wyoming

Grade level of students you or your educator collaborator work/worked with: 7th

Subject/topic of class/group you assisted your collaborator with (if applicable):  Creating an editable interactive map using ArcGIS Online. This interactive map mapped the parks in the Kemmerer area and used the attributes of # of slides, swings, and picnic tables to help the students determine which park is best for a sibling that prefers slides over swings. The students did the editing and filling out of attributes. After the map was setup, we used ArcGIS Online templates and I allowed the students to edit the map from my smartphone.

How many students were engaged in GIS activities through this collaboration (if applicable):  40 students (2 classes, 20 in each class)

How did you connect with your collaborator?  I reached out to the teacher to ask if I could teach her 7th grade classes on GIS Day.

Describe your collaboration process.  We communicated over email for about 2 weeks to schedule the time and date. I personally chose the topic of Interactive Maps due to an interest I have seen with kids at that age. I knew they would jump onto an idea of making a map that was live to the world.

Describe the tasks you assisted your collaborator with.  The teacher was not familiar with GIS. So, the topic I taught the kids was meant to introduce her to ArcGIS Online and the possibility to use it in the classroom. I also left information for her to try to setup ArcGIS online for the school.

What available resources, if any, did you use or help your collaborator use to implement GIS in K-12 education? I reviewed some of the information on the GeoMentors website, but ultimately I felt I would go in my own direction. I created the lesson on my own and setup the data for the lesson. I used primarily for the use of ArcGIS Online and the templates.

Did you develop any new educational material or GIS activities through your collaboration? I put together a work flow to create a map that depicted the parks in the Kemmerer Area that had attributes of the # of slides, swings, and picnic tables. This was geared to them trying to decide which park was the best for a sibling that preferred slides over swings or vice versa. Ultimately, they were able to edit the parks layer on my smart phone in class.

Did you work directly with students at all, or just with educators?  I worked with students and educators.

What did you gain from the experience? What do you think your educator collaborator and/or the students gained? I learned a bit more about ArcGIS Online for my own professional use. I also learned that when you add a smartphone or tablet to the lesson, the students really perk up. I feel that the students learned that even at their age, they can create maps for decision making and that those maps can be shared with others. The teacher was impressed enough to want me back next year to teach her 7th graders again.

Any additional comments about your experience?

            It was really fun to introduce something to the teacher and the students that I'm passionate about.

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About the Author
Senior Research Geographer with the Association of American Geographers; Map Nerd