When I taught sixth grade, one of the ways technology could be made relevant–aside from SimCity–was to encourage the use of ESRI’s ArcGIS product. Unfortunately, the program was way over my head but I remember some high school folks getting all excited about it.
Now, with my daughter at Texas A&M studying GIS as a career-choice, I’ve taken a more definite interest in the field. That’s why I was thrilled to read this tweet by Dr. Gordon Dahlby sharing this news:
Esri today reported it’s committing up to $1 billion in free accounts for its cloud-based GIS mapping software, hosted through Amazon Web Services. Amazon said it’s committing AWS resources for three years to support the effort for all schools that participate.
Esri is the maker of ArcGIS, a geographic information systems (GIS) software suite that provides tools for creating interactive Web-based maps. The software is already widely used in schools, with some statewide licenses in place. It’s used in project-based learning across disciplines, including science (such as gathering data from the field and mapping it), math (calculating volumes of water) and social sciences (calculating population densities).
Through the program, elementary, middle and high schools will be able to receive grants for the use of ArcGIS Online, the hosted edition of ArcGIS. The move is in response to the President’s ConnectED initiative, which has already attracted commitments from several other tech companies, including Microsoft, Dell, Lenovo and others. In addition to the software, the program also provides teacher training, a community space, educator mentoring and other student and teacher resources.
Pretty exciting news! Watch this video:
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Christine Voigt (Email:
Here’s an overview:
The goal of the GeoTech SIG is to bring together educators interested in technologies that help explore our world. These technologies could be a simple as a GPS and GoogleMaps to complex GIS (geographic information systems). This group would share ideas on how to integrate these geospatial
technologies into the classroom using sound educational techniques and project based learning. It is the hope that this group will help bring down the walls of classroom and get students outside to solve real problems, using geographic tools, and know they can make a difference in their community.
Some examples of projects:
Bishop Dunne’s GIS Program: http://www.bdhs.org/gis/
Case studies published by ESRI Ed Community:
Earth Caching by Geologic Society of America:
Do you think this group will extend to not only GPS, but to the implementation of GIS in the education realm? I’ve been working with faculty for 15 years integrating GIS into various curriculum areas and am certainly always on the lookout for like-minded educators!
And, Christine’s response to this question was:
It will most definitely be discussed as part of the SIG. That to me is the ultimate goal, to move people from basic integration of common gadgets like GPS into analyzing data via GIS and solving real problems in the community. I know there are people out there interested in this, we just need to give them a home!
Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure