Esri Education News:, MOOC, ConnectED Webinar

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ConnectED Webinar 
The UNH Cooperative Extension, Vermont Center for Geographic Information (VCGI), NH GRANIT and NH Space Grant are hosting a webinar on Esri's ConnectED program on August 19th.
The Title: "Teachers, start your mapping! Free online GIS in the classroom from Esri and ConnectEd"
The Pitch: "GIS is a powerful, but underused teaching tool. Geographic Information System (GIS) has long been seen as a powerful way to engage students in spatial thinking and get them involved in real-world, inquiry-based projects. In spite of the incredible teaching potential of GIS, many roadblocks have prevented the widespread use of this technology in classrooms, including the cost to license software, the headaches involved in managing desktop programs in a school environment, and the steep learning curve associated with using such a complex mapping tool. ArcGIS Online is now free for all schools in the US."
While the focus on "free" and easier to use that traditional GIS is interesting and quite correct, I wonder if focusing on STEM, Common Core support and inquiry and problem-based learning might be more compelling for educators.
Esri Endorses Field Trips
press release from Esri regarding the availability of the new ArcGIS Story Maps-based Field Trip Library from includes an endorsement from K-12 education manager Charlie Fitzpatrick. The original announcement (pdf) of the product is from April.
"As a former social studies teacher, I would have loved having my students work with these. History comes alive when you can see the whole story, and it is much more powerful in a map you can dive into. Field Trips rock!"
If I understand correctly, the Field Trip library is an add-on to an existing Maps 101 subscription, which the site says costs less than $700 per year for most school sites. The Field Trip Library content is mostly from Maps 101; the innovation is the organization of that content on a story map. Per the pitch for Field Trips:
While much of the content comes from the company’s popular Maps101 resource (currently used in over 3500 schools across the US) it is the way that events are presented using geographical and chronological representations that will maintain students’ interest and aide [sic] learning.
I took a quick look at two of the free to view samples. The story map on the World War I included public domain art from Wikipedia and a generic National Geographic video on Germany. In Gift of the Nile I found a Created Common licensed wikipedia image that was unattributed in the story map.
Esri Canada Answers Questions on Centres of Excellence
I published a Q & A about the initiative earlier this week.
Esri Supports Central European University
Back in July, Esri donated more than 30 licenses of ArcGIS 10, to Hungary-based Central European University. Esri participated in the school's Summer University course “Bridging ICTs and Environment – Making Information Talk and Technologies Work,” which addressed decision-makers and policymakers' use of IT in water management and water security applications.
Esri will support the course and the ISEPEI Project at CEU, under which the course was run. The company also donated copies of two books, volume 28 of the “Esri Map Book” and “GIS for Water Management in Europe,” to the CEU Library.
Esri MOOC Capped at 1000
Per a tweet from @esrimooc

Initial limited release of Going Places MOOC (1000 students) opens Sept 3. Unlimited release to follow soon.

Those who sign up now receive this response:

Thanks for your interest in Esri's free online course Going Places with Spatial Analysis. All the students we can handle have already signed up for this course, so we're saving a seat for you in the very next offering. We'll send you details later this fall.

All of the details I've gathered about the course are here.

Published Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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