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GIS Education News Weekly: Goodall MOOC, Esri Joins ConnectED, Geographer Documents own Rescue from Crevasse

Thursday, May 29th 2014
By Adena Schutzberg

Registration Open for Goodall Roots and Shoots MOOC

It's been talked about for some time, but now registration is open for the course which runs July 7 - Aug 3. You'll need a Google account to register and everyone is welcome (including non-educators).

Here are the learning objectives:

Through participation in this course students will:

  • Be able to identify how mapping plays a role in JGI's conservation initiatives;
  • Be able to define community mapping and explain the concept of place-based education;
  • Be able to explain how community mapping fits in to the seven elements and five phases of service learning;
  • Feel comfortable making a community map using Google Maps Engine Lite;
  • Be confident teaching their learners about community mapping, defining a community need and planning a service project to address this need; and
  • Feel comfortable integrating the Roots & Shoots formula into their lessons.

Esri Commits to President's ConnectED

In continuing its support of education, and in line with the President’s ConnectED vision of opening new opportunity through technology in the classroom, Esri will provide to every U.S. K-12 school in America free access to ArcGIS Online Organization accounts — the same GIS technology as used by government and business. These allow users to map and analyze data, create and share content, and collaborate in the cloud -- via computers, tablets, or smartphones, anytime, anywhere connected.  This commitment expands on Esri’s successful program in pilot schools at all levels across the country, and will allow students to do projects of unlimited content, from global to local, building community, as well as knowledge and skills for college and career.

The commitment was announced in conjunction with the White House Science Fair. I hope Esri has some way to manage credits and accounts for all those students. I know university educators have had a very hard time with that. See more at this blog post. And, there's a video of a Bloomberg News person asking Jack Dangermond some really good questions.

Map: Compare State Medals in the Best High School Rankings

The map below, [based on U.S. News and World data] which can be sorted by year, provides a national view of Best High Schools rankings distribution as well as a peek into state data across two years of rankings. The data reveal a few overarching trends. 

Tops in 2014? California, Maine and Connecticut. But, see the methodology...

VGI Summer School

The University of St. Andrews is holding a three day summer school focused on volunteered geographic information July 14-17. Michal Goodchild is one of the speakers. Cost to those outside of Geocrowd: L150.

Geographer Rescues Himself from Crevasse

A Western Kentucky University associate professor is alive after falling through a 70-foot crevasse while climbing in Nepal. John All, 44, was alone, however, he captured his own rescue from Mount Himlung on film.

Brewer to Head Penn State Geography

Cynthia A. Brewer, professor of geography and director of the Peter R. Gould Center for Geography Education and Outreach, has been appointed as head of the Department of Geography effective July 1, 2014. Yes, she the one behind ColorBrewer.

We Celebrate Children who Knew Geography and Chastise Adults who do Not

Yes, yes, a child from Virginia won the National Geographic Geography Bee. That's just great, but does it move forward spatial and geolitercy? Fox got nine geographic facts wrong in recent broadcasts and the media counts them. That's just great, but does it move forward spatial and geolitercy? And most candidates for state office include the name of the state in which they are running in their TV ads. They get it right, too.

Nursing Students Look at Food Deserts

Nursing students at Saginaw Valley State University recently surveyed Saginaw and found that the city has just three major grocery stores.

A USDA study and map confirmed Saginaw County had challenges. I like seeing such geographic work being part of a health related degree program.

Education, Civil Rights and GIS

Penn State's College of Education will host a conference on “Education and Civil Rights, Historical Legacies, Contemporary Strategies and Promise for the Future” on June 6 and 7. One of the tools noted that enables exploration of its past and future? GIS.

Another Geographer in University Administration

Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) has named a new provost and vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Michelle Behr of The University of Northern Colorado (UNC). 

She has a PhD in geography.

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