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June 2016 Geospatial Technologies MNPS Professional Development Workshop

Geospatial Technologies: Bring the World into Your Classroom was a professional development workshop for Metro Nashville Public Schools K-12 Teachers that was held June 7-10, 2016 in Martin Professional Development Center, Nashville Tennessee. The majority of the seventeen participants in the workshop were elementary and middle school classroom teachers, teaching subjects ranging from Math, to Science, to History. During the four day workshop participants learned how to use GPS units and mobile devices to collect spatial data and how to analyze and display spatial data using GIS software on both online and desktop platforms.  Each teacher was provided with a physical and digital copy of workshop materials, including introductory presentations, guided activities and example data, and additional reference materials.

During the workshop teachers were introduced to technologies that will enable them to get their students outside collecting real world data that can be used in project-based learning (PBL) activities.Teachers developed basic data collection and spatial analysis skills using GPS units, mobile data collection, free online mapping software and ArcGIS for Desktop by working through example classroom activities that they can do with their students. In addition, teachers also had the opportunity to create hands-on activities and curriculum for their classrooms with assistance from their peers, Vanderbilt graduate student Kate Nelson, and Professor Janey Camp.

During the workshop, teachers participated in the following activities:

Day 1 – Overview, GIS Basics, Data Collection, and Intro to ArcGIS.com

  • Overview of GIS, Careers in GIS
  • Collecting Spatial Data with GPS
  • Introduction to ArcGIS.com (Mapping your Data)
  • Exploration of Story Maps and GeoInquiries

Day 2 – ArcGIS.com Continued Desktop, Mobile Devices

  • Data Sources, Types, and Formats
  • Introduction to ConnectEd and ArcGIS Online Organizational Accounts
  • Using Mobile Devices for Data Collection – ArcGIS Online
  • Performing spatial analysis with ArcGIS Online Org
  • Publishing Maps and Story Maps

Day 3 – Intro to ArcGIS Desktop

  • Introduction to  ArcGIS Desktop
  • Performing spatial analysis with ArcGIS Desktop
  • Introduction to GLOBE

Day 4 – ArcGIS Desktop Continued and Other Resources

  • Comparison of  ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS.com, and ArcGIS Online Org
  • Comparison of GPS and mobile data collection
  • Activity development and feedback session
  • Additional resources

Click here to see some sample activities developed by teachers enrolled in the course.