The Jacksonville Illinois schoolboard had two pieces of news: one about a new contract for bus drivers and one about the new GIS course.
The meeting opened with a review of the Geographic Information Systems class introduced last year at Jacksonville High School. GIS is an elective, semester-long course in JHS’ social studies department for juniors and seniors.
“I think the value of the course is that it becomes a collaborative effort between the students and teachers,” said Dan Keller, who teaches the class with fellow JHS instructor Jim Chelsvig. “Our goal is to let the students complete a spatial project of their own design.”
Brendan Barlow, who graduated from JHS in the spring, and JHS senior David Sibert spoke about the merits of the GIS class.
“I liked the fact that the final project allowed me to cover a topic that I’m passionate about,” Barlow said. “The course prepared me for college or the workforce by teaching me self-discipline as I completed a lot of the work in my free time.”
Sibert added, “It was probably the most fun class I’ve ever taken because I’ve always loved geography, and the class helped me realize that I could use geography in a career.”
I wonder if there are mentors, or a link to local college programs or employers?
There are new tools for digital humanities out of the University of North Carolina.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed an easy-to-use website-building tool that puts previously complex digital programming into the hands of historians and researchers. The new tool, called the Digital Humanities Toolkit or DH Press, provides a way for historians, researchers, teachers and others to create interactive websites, virtual tours, data maps and multimedia archives with a WordPress platform. It also organizes data in more easily searchable and intuitive ways, such as mapping. UNC-Chapel Hill’s Digital Innovation Lab (DIL) and its Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) collaborated on the new tool.
There's a new citizen science tool from the Cornell Ornithology Lab:
YardMap is a citizen science project designed to cultivate a richer understanding of bird habitat, for both professional scientists and people concerned with their local environments.
But it's more than just data collection:
YardMap is also the world’s first interactive citizen scientist social network. When you join you are instantly connected to the work of like-minded individuals in your neighborhood, and across the country.
- Yard Map via @mhacklay