GIS Training for Educators in Minnesota

Photo of Amy RileyGeoMentor Volunteer: Amy Riley

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Activity Theme/Focus: I was co-teaching a workshop for Minnesota teachers about ArcGIS Online sponsored through U Spatial. The title of the workshop was “Mapping 101,” and I co-taught it with John Nerge, the GIS Coordinator at the City of Brooklyn Park.

Number of Participants:  We had two workshop sessions held at Brooklyn Park City Hall. There were three teachers at the first workshop, and about seven at the second. The spots that were not filled by teachers were opened to City Staff, and by doing so allowed us to have a full “classroom” each time.

How did you connect with your collaborator? Scott Freburg reached out to John Nerge, the GIS Coordinator at the City of Brooklyn Park, and asked us to teach the workshops.

Describe your tasks/involvement: The skills that were assisted were software skills and topical data. The workshop consisted of presentations about the fundamentals of GIS and ArcGIS Online, demonstrations, and time to complete exercises. Over the 4 hour workshop, Minnesota teachers were able to create an ArcGIS Online account, start a web map, learn to upload .csv files, manipulate symbology, and begin using spatial tools. This workshop was a springboard for the educators to become familiar and aware of the technology available to their classrooms.

What did you gain from the experience? What do you think the participants gained? I gained the satisfaction of sharing the splendor and power of GIS to other professionals. It was really wonderful to see the teachers excited to explore the possibilities that GIS could bring to their classroom. The teachers gained the basic skills to begin their relationship with ArcGIS Online, and hopefully the momentum to share it with their students.

Additional comments: I really enjoyed sharing my passion for GIS with those who knew little to nothing about it. It was also wonderful to know it was being used for a very good cause. I would definitely engage in GeoMentoring again!