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GeoMentors Case Study:

Rich Schultz & Barbaree Duke

Name of the School, School District, and/or Group you collaborated/are collaborating with: The entire geospatial and geography education community!

Subject/topic of class/group you assisted your collaborator with: Drones! Remote sensing and geospatial technologies (GIS)

Approximately how many students were engaged in GIS activities through this collaboration: 2,000+ Webinar attendees from 90+ countries and various sectors, many from education

How did you connect with your collaborator? As a member of the GeoTech Center, who was originally responsible for sponsoring T3G for Esri, Barbaree Duke and I met in the initial T3G Institute back in 2009. We always knew we wanted to partner on a project, but a number of years went by before we had the opportunity.

Describe your collaboration process.

Rich: In November 2015, Barbaree and I set out to partner from our organizations (she with Directions Magazine as the Executive Webinar Producer and I as the Webinar Director from the GeoTech Center ) to create a webinar specifically designed to be an “event” rather than just a single one-hour webinar. It was free, open to the public, and organized by the two of us. We began our efforts in November 2015 and secured speakers in three areas, including one in higher education, who could speak to the topic of using remote sensing and geospatial technologies to help teachers design their own potential programs. Barbaree and I called the event “Drones Flying Free 2016” and the event was scheduled for February 17, 2016. We marketed via social media and told everyone we could think of in the educational community to attend the event which was detailed on

Barbaree: It takes a village to pull off big events. Rich and I both had hoped to do something collaborative for many years. Each of our organizations seek good opportunities to bring helpful information to the geospatial community. We identified the strengths of each team and set forth to create something valuable. The Directions team worked with the GeoTech Center team to create an amazingly informative event. There is something for everyone.

Describe the tasks you assisted your collaborator with. By the time the event occurred, we had 2022 registrants from nearly 90 countries and eventually presented the webinar event to 999 unique visitors who attended the event live on educational aspects of remote sensing and drones. A large number of K-12 teachers asked about how they could use materials from 4th through 8th grade, perhaps as part of the ConnectEd Initiative and letting students learn about how geospatial data is collected and processed. Five different speakers in three separate webinar events provided the presentations and educators attended primarily thee second webinar event tied to education.

What available resources, if any, did you use or help your collaborator use to implement GIS in K-12 education? Drones Flying Free 2016 Links and Resources.pdf; The handout is duplicated on the main website, Drones Flying Free 2016

Did you develop any new educational material or GIS activities through your collaboration?Drones Flying Free 2016 All the videos and resources are available on the website mentioned. The handout duplicates the information, Drones Flying Free 2016 Links and Resources.pdf

What did you gain from the experience? What do you think your educator collaborator and/or the students gained? Bottom line was that two Geomentors pulled off a global event that saw over 2000 registrants from over 90 countries and loads of educators all learn about geospatial technologies, remote sensing, and drones in a mega-webinar extravaganza! There were lots of positive feedback comments on how K-12 educators could use their new knowledge to teach young students about remote sensing and drones since those were familiar to their students. Maybe this can assist teachers in getting the word out about remote sensing and unmanned aerial vehicles (e.g., drones) and how they can be used in learning about geography, geospatial technologies, and remote sensing in their curricula?

If your GeoMentoring engagement activities were documented through a classroom blog, school website, group’s social media post, newspaper or other media, please provide the websites of those posts.

Drones Flying Free 2016

We’re also running follow up articles for the three sessions. The first at Directions Magazine: Drone Rules: What you don’t know CAN hurt you! 

Two to follow in the coming weeks, stay tuned to the DM UAV Channel for updates, Directions Magazine: UAV News

Any additional comments about your experience? Great experience to provide current information on popular technology to educators!


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