- Posted by MG UG
- On November 16, 2017
- 0 Comments
How have you celebrated GeoWeek? For many of us as professionals we use GIS on a daily basis. However for most of the population they’ve never heard of it. So this week is your chance to educate your fellow citizens. Right across Manitoba, GIS professionals are putting on workshops, open houses, presentations and sharing the gospel of GIS. So what did you do?
Here in Brandon, I was invited to share GIS with a grade 10 high school class at Neelin High School. I struggled with what to present, a standard PowerPoint or Prezi? a Hands-On activity? exploring some aspect of our natural world in which we live? I needed something to capture their attention and that would keep them busy for up to two hours. So what kind of activity capture the attention of a grade 10 student? I figured they’d get enough of listening to the teacher, they need something that they can get their hands dirty with.
So I went to the GIS Day website and look through tons of material various kinds of lessons and nothing really seemed to resonate. These students are not GIS users and are not familiar with desktop software so I needed something simple and easy to follow on a subject that would capture their attention. And I figured what would capture attention more than zombies. So I modified an ArcGIS Desktop problem that was used previously for the Manitoba Skills GIS Competition and configured it to run in ArcGIS online. Now, not being an online aficionado I had a steep learning curve in order to set up groups, attach permissions, create student accounts, apply permissions and configure analysis options. I am now more proficient at that… lesson learned, and it wasn’t so bad!
Neelin teacher and fellow MGUGer Rob Langston commented on how engaged his students were throughout the whole activity. The students commented on how fun it was and at the end when asked how this could be applied in other situations they had tons of ideas. It was great to see them engaged and active.
Activities took place in many other settings and places this week, Keith Hartley ran an OSM Mapathon at Red River College, and University of Winnipeg. As part of the building canada 2020 initiative for openstreetmap (https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/WikiProject_Canada/Building_Canada_2020/OSMGeoWeek2017 and http://osmgeoweek.org/events/)
Many other post-secondary institutions and student clubs and groups also ran GeoWeek activities, Andrew Pratt showed off the new Sandbox at Oak Hammock Marsh (https://twitter.com/Prattalot/status/930646384935567363), GeoManitoba and other government agencies and companies shared how GIS is used every day in every way.
As an educator and professional I am excited and thankful for the support we get from the GIS community, software companies, developers and individuals who are so passionate about GIS that they do great things to spread the GIS message. Now it’s your turn, be an ambassador for GIS! Written by Stephen Hill (https://twitter.com/ACCGIS)