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June 3-6 2014 Nashville GIS Workshop

The four-day Geospatial Technology Studio Professional Development Workshop was held June 3-6, 2014 at Stratford STEM Magnet High School, Nashville, TN. There were 4 participants in the workshop. Each teacher was provided with a three-ring binder of workshop materials, a copy of “Going Places with GPS” by Roger and Anita Palmer as well as geospatial data and activities on thumb drives.

This four-day workshop not only helped teachers develop basic skills using GPS units, free online mapping software, and Google Earth™, but also help them access to ArcGIS Desktop by providing several example activities that addressed “real world” problems using GIS as a tool to solve them. By taking this workshop, teachers had a deeper knowledge of GIS and geospatial technologies (GT), as well as how to apply/integrate GIS into their courses. They learned how to get their students outside and collecting real world data that they can use in project-based learning (PBL) activities, how to map their own data in online free software, as well as advanced analysis for projects using ArcGIS Desktop. In addition, teachers also had the opportunity to create hands-on activities and curriculum for their classrooms with assistance from Professor Janey Camp at Vanderbilt University.

During the workshop, teachers participated in the following activities:

Day 1 – Overview, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and ArcGIS.com

  • Introduction to Geospatial Technologies
  • What is GPS? How to Use a GPS Unit?
  • GPS Hide and Seek
  • Introduction to ArcGIS.com
  • Outdoor Data Collection with GPS Units and ArcGIS.com

Day 2 – ArcGIS.com and ArcGIS Desktop

  • Data Sources, Types, and Formats
  • Geographic Inquiry Process
  • ArcGIS.com Activity Development
  • ArcGIS.com Activity Development Debrief
  • Introduction to ArcGIS Desktop
  • ArcGIS Desktop – Making a Reference Map

Day 3 – ArcGIS Desktop

  • ArcGIS Desktop – Getting Your Data Into the Map
  • ArcGIS Desktop – Beginning Spatial Analysis
  • ArcGIS Desktop – What’s Your Carbon Footprint?
  • ArcGIS.com vs. ArcGIS Desktop

Day 4 – Other Geospatial Technology Resources

  • Guest Speaker – GIS in the Real World
  • Introduction to the GLOBE Program
  • Other Geospatial Technology Tools (Google Earth, ArcGIS Explorer, etc.)
  • Concept Map Review
  • Geospatial Technology Activity Development – Any Tool
  • Activity Peer Review and Feedback
  • Additional Resources and Future Work

The Nashville Workshop was a great success with teachers’ fully participating in all the hands-on activities. Teachers found this workshop to be beneficial for future classes, because all the activities are engaging, low-cost and allow for hands-on exploration of the world around us.

Each teacher received a certificate of completion and a 1-year individual license for educational purposes to ArcGIS Desktop at the end of the workshop. Click here to see some sample activities developed by teachers enrolled in the course.