The Fourth Annual “Teachers Teaching Teachers GIS Institute” held at Esri headquarters in Redlands, CA, has come and gone in a blur. “T3G” is an event for educators who are GIS-savvy, with experience teaching with technology, and a background and continuing interest in providing professional development for educators. Based on a challenging application, a set of Esri staff and outside educators invite 30. T3G participants have ranged in experience from novice to retired educators from all levels of formal and informal systems including geoprofessionals who mentor and support educators.
Use of GIS is exploding across industries, and more careers than ever before engage GIS. At the same time, new technologies like ArcGIS Online make it easier than ever to bring GIS into education. The mission of T3G is to build the community able to provide powerful professional development for educators and lend expertise to education policy influencers, at local to national levels. Participants are charged with providing instruction, sharing the vision of GIS as a technology for solving problems, and continuing to build their own skills.
With activities modeling specific instructional practices, discussions of pedagogy, reflections on experiences, and a constant mix of modes and styles, participants explore new tools, new ways of thinking, new modes of operation, and new visions for what is possible, in one exciting but exhausting week. This year’s events featured extensive work with ArcGIS Online including publishing map services, creating web applications from static maps, and gathering and instantaneously publishing shared field data (including photographs) collected via smartphones and tablets by accessing a single webmap with an editable feature service. As their content appeared live on these shared maps, in the field and the classroom, a common cry was “Oh yeah, they’re gonna see this when I get home!”
The T3G2012 crew is now part of a growing body of educators able to help clubs, schools, districts, and states figure out how to add GIS into their educational programs. This is especially important as more states establish and engage statewide site licenses for k12 education.
Information about T3G2013 will be available in September.
- Charlie Fitzpatrick, Esri Education Manager