GIS Education News Weekly: Blended Learning, Competitions, Harvard Online Learning Event


The Central Connecticut State University Departments of Continuing Education and Geography recently graduated the second class of students from its Geographic Information Science Certificate Program. There were four grads.

Hybrid Learning

A research study, An Assessment of a Blended Learning Model for Information and Geospatial Literacy (intro page, full pdf) came out this week. The study focused on a first year social sciences students at McMaster University. Best I can tell the online learning modules were videos.

A new study by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) examined the impact of blended learning on teaching information and geospatial literacy, two skills identified as critical for 21st century learners. Geospatial literacy is the ability to conceptualize, capture and communicate spatial phenomena, while information literacy is the ability to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use it effectively.

The study found that while calculating potential cost savings was difficult, students did embrace the online learning tools, with more than 80% using the modules. Instructors found no change in grades, but students overwhelmingly felt the online components positively influenced their overall understanding of the material.Grants and Competitions

Grants and Competitions

Esri Canada announced the recipient of its first GIS in Education Grant program which awards up to five grants of Esri oftware and training each year to Canadian K-12 schools.

Congratulations to our first two grant recipients: St. Michaels University School (SMUS) in Victoria, BC and Connect Charter School (CCS) in Calgary, AB.

Alex Luta (Georgetown, ’16) was awarded first place in the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s poster competition Jan. 27. The project focused on the application of visualizations and computer algorithms for human rights abuses.

The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies invites U.S. high school students to participate in the 2014 Thacher Environmental Research Contest. The annual contest involves students using science and technology skills to create research projects focused on the use of remote sensing data and analysis tools.

Students are asked to identify a U.S. protected area of interest, and design a research project that identifies why the area is unique, why it significantly contributes to our society, how this area has changed over time, and ways remote sensing and geospatial tools can be used to monitor these environmental treasures.


The 2014 Harvard CGA Conference is May 2 in Cambridge, MA; the theme: "Geospatial Technology and Online Education." It's free and open to the public. Sponsors: Center for Geographic AnalysisHarvardXOffice of the Vice Provost for Advances in LearningEsri. I'll be there!

ICA-OSGeo Lab Network and MundoGEO will host a webinar Feb 13 on “NASA World Wind Virtual Globe Technology” and  the Europa Challenge. The speaker will be Patrick Hogan, NASA World Wind Project Manager.

Published Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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