Author Archives: Charlie Fitzpatrick
On Wednesday, April 6, Esri will be hosting two busloads of 11th grade students from LA’s Roosevelt High School and one busload from LA’s Diego Rivera Learning Complex.
Esri’s work with these high school students began a few years ago, after Esri’s president and founder Jack Dangermond met musician will.i.am, a founding member of the The Black Eyed Peas. This unlikely pairing bonded over a common interest in introducing the next generation to technology and the sciences.
Just 25 years ago, life was very different for US residents. Few people used e-mail, “the web” was about spiders, and “portable phones” generated more derision than envy. Schools had some Apple IIs, Macs, PCs, or labs, but no school had hundreds of kids with constant access. How things have changed. Now digital learning helps kids whenever, wherever—at least, some kids. In 2013, President Barack Obama launched ConnectED, challenging businesses to help get all US schools into digital learning with more devices, more connectivity, more digital content, and more training for teachers.
In late May 2014, the White House announced Esri’s contribution to ConnectED: ArcGIS Online organizational subscriptions for any K–12 school in the United States. With major support from Amazon Web Services, kids in any US school can make maps and analyze data using powerful, professional web-based GIS, connected anytime and anywhere—on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Continue reading
Trooping into my room on the first day of school, my 8th grade geography classes would look above the board and see a sign:
- What’s where?
- Why is it there?
- So what?
I would tell them that they didn’t need to know a lot of facts for my class; primarily they needed thinking skills. They would build up their background knowledge by exercising those skills endlessly. We quickly began exploring.
Esri’s Education team is often asked: Does GIS have value for kids? What kinds of things do students, teachers, and administrators do with GIS?
Yes, GIS does have huge value for kids as well as adults! Today’s youth are tomorrow’s decision makers and GIS users. “Geo-Literacy“—the ability to use geographic understanding and geographic reasoning to make decisions—is a critical skill for addressing the tough issues affecting global health and community life. It’s also crucial to students’ personal success.