The Plenary Sessions at the twelfth annual Esri Education GIS Conference are undergoing a major change in format. Instead of a series of presentations from speakers, the Saturday and Sunday programs will commence with 90-minute facilitated community conversations in which Esri education managers, community spokespersons, and audience members will talk about themes of strategic importance to the education community.
"We are making a concerted effort to engage the community at this year's conference to help formulate the direction of GIS education for the next 20 years," says David DiBiase, Esri's director of education, Industry Solutions. "Attendees can join the conversation with respected thought leaders about the challenges and opportunities we face at the cusp of a new generation of GIS education."
Conversation topics include education and the cloud; open educational resources; careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); educational policy; campus facilities; and global initiatives.
Daniel Edelson, vice president for education, National Geographic Society, will participate in the opening session on Saturday and discuss online mapping and citizen science.
"Online mapping is a huge opportunity for bringing the power of geographic analysis to learners within and outside the classroom," says Edelson. "It can help us better understand our community and engage with it in a more meaningful way."
Among the nearly 100 user presentations, workshops, and special interest group meetings available at the conference this year is the Education EXPO, which will highlight the demonstration of ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS 10.1, Esri Community Analyst, and more. In addition, Esri education team staff members will discuss the expanded site license program, which has undergone its most substantial upgrade in the 20-year history of the Esri Education Program.
The Esri Education GIS Conference will be held from July 21 to 24, 2012, in San Diego, California, at the Marriott Marquis and Marina hotel near the Convention Center, where the Esri International User Conference will be staged.
Unlike previous years, attendees need not be current users of Esri software. Registration includes the first two days of attendance at the Esri International User Conference. For more information or to register, visit esriurl.com/EducReg.
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