New Zealand GIS in Schools Geomentor Community Blog

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(11 Posts)
Esri Contributor

New Zealand geomentors engagement...


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Esri Contributor

Did you know...there are so many classrooms in New Zealand that will never experience GIS without the encouragement and support of a GeoMentor! So why not encourage a GIS Professional you know to connect with a school and visit a classroom.

If you need some reasons to encourage people to become GeoMentors why not

  • tell them your story about GeoMentoring
  • remind them that children at schools right now are the meme generation so communicate visually and are therefore primed to communicate with GIS
  • make sure they know there are pre-written lessons that they could run in the classroom, geoinquiries are a great place to start
  • connect them with this group so they can ask questions and share stories about their GeoMentoring experiences
  • get them to register as a GeoMentor so Eagle Technology can help them get connected to a local school who is keen for some assistance, 

Lets help to make GIS accessible in more New Zealand classrooms.

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Esri Contributor

Drones are something that school teachers are increasingly wanting to use in their classrooms.

The type of drone a school purchases can be varied but we do recommend the following workflow once a drone is purchased:

  1. Download Site Scan LE - (iPad version only) to enable the teacher / student to create a flight plan for the area of interest. The app is free to use for existing ArcGIS Online subscriptions.
  2. Install and license Drone2Map - only schools with the ArcGIS Schools Advanced Bundles have Drone2Map licenses
  3. Process the images in Drone2Map - the Getting Started with Drone2Map for ArcGIS course can help with this
  4. Publish images as an Orthomosaic and/or 3D Mesh to ArcGIS Online - help on how to do this can be found at 

Maybe you can use this information to help the school teacher that you mentor to use drones and convert the output into a useful product that they can use in ArcGIS.

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Esri Contributor

This week the first ever virtual Esri User Conference has been happening (Esri UC 2020).

As part of this event the UC Plenary Session - Part 3 in particular focused on Esri efforts in the Education Space.

We heard

I encourage you to access the Plenary Session on demand (you need to be registered for Esri UC 2020 to do this currently), explore the new National Geographic resources and the ArcGIS Teach with GIS Hub site and then share your learning's with the teacher(s) that you mentor.

Watch this space for an announcement for when Eagle Technology releases their new GIS in Schools New Zealand webpages as well .

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Esri Contributor

Many of the teachers that you are mentoring might be focused on providing options for GIS at NCEA Level 1, 2 and 3. While this is important, GIS can be used in other areas of the geography curriculum, as well as in other subject areas.

For Example, below is a link to a Story Map that shows how GIS can be used to teach Geographic Skills

Screen Shot of the Geographic Skills Building Story Map

Geographic Skills Building Story Map 

Or you can use GIS it teach about earthquakes

Earthquakes Learning Guide using GIS - An ArcGIS StoryMaps 

GIS for MathematicsOr is the mathematics department is interested in incorporating digital technology in their classrooms - GIS can be the tool they could use. Esri has some short lessons in Mathematics to help with this implementation - these lessons can be found at GeoInquiries for Math | Algebra Activities Using GIS . Good news these GIS based mathematics lessons don't require an ArcGIS Online username and password to use so that takes some of the complexity out of implementing them .

Or the history department might be interested in using GIS. Below are some helpful resources specific to topics that we teach in NZ

and some more generic short GIS based history lessons GeoInquiries for World History | Inquiry-Based Activities 

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Esri Contributor

While it is great, as a Schools Geomentor, you can do a lot of back end ArcGIS Online administration on behalf of your school teacher there is also huge benefits of upskilling your teachers to be able to utilise this functionality inside of ArcGIS Online themselves. Or as the Chinese proverb says

You give a poor man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime.

To be able to assist with this learning process, Eagle Technology and the GIS Champions funded by the Geography Network of Expertise are producing a series of videos showcasing various "administration" items in ArcGIS Online.

Below is a list of videos currently available:

These resources are freely accessible with no login required. If you or your teachers have difficulty accessing these resources try logging out of your ArcGIS Online account.

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Esri Contributor

Once students get back to classrooms they might be keen to get out into the field to capture data. Why not recommend the following Storymap to the teachers you mentor to help them sort through which ArcGIS App they should use in the field. It can be confusing with Survey123 for ArcGIS, Collector for ArcGIS and ArcGIS QuickCapture in the offering.

ArcGIS field apps in schools.

ArcGIS field apps in schools - Story Map

The story map covers what is common to all three apps and the data collection power they bring to the field. Teachers will need to determine which app is right for each data collection project they run, some times that answer is determined by the purpose of the project so feel free to assist in the decision making process .

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Esri Contributor

As you are all probably aware, during COVID19 alert level 4 school teachers have had to very rapidly move to teaching classes in an online environment. Many teachers have used this new environment as a reason to brush up on their GIS skills and / or use GIS in the classroom. For many teachers this mode of teaching will continue as we go down the COVID19 alert levels. Some teachers will also have to teach in a hybrid environment with some students in the classroom and students online, beaming in from their homes.

Below are some useful resources that you could recommend to the teacher(s) you mentor to enable spatial learning from home using ArcGIS Online

If you would like recommendations on further resources teachers could utilise for online teaching of GIS for students contact

The New Zealand Board of Geography Teachers (NZBoGT) Network of Expertise is currently in the process of recording some useful teacher self learning videos which will be posted on YouTube progressively. The link to these videos will be added to this blog as it becomes available.

Banner photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

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Esri Contributor

Young curious minds are a good thing, but how do you explain COVID-19 to children, young people, and maybe even those who are not so young?

How about connecting them to the following blog post which incorporates useful resources to help with understanding.

Feel free to distribute this blog post link with the school(s) that you geomentor.

Banner image captured 3 April 2020 and does not contain up-to-date information please visit the live dashboard for up-to-date information.

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