[NHDOE-ETNews] ETNews: NH enters State Partnership with Esri GIS developer for free educational software

Freeda, Stanley Stanley.Freeda at doe.nh.gov
Tue Jul 17 12:31:24 EDT 2012


Today on the ETNews Listserv

ITEM: NH enters State Partnership with Esri GIS developer for free
educational software


Great News! The New Hampshire Department of Education has just signed a
state-wide license agreement with Esri (Environmental Systems Research
Institute) for unlimited educational and administrative use of the
complete suite of ArcGIS software for K-12 public and private schools,
afterschool programs, and youth groups.

For those of you who haven't had a chance to play with or see GIS at
work, it's an incredibly powerful tool that allows you to display
spatial information (think maps!) in ways that allow you to see
relationships and ask sophisticated questions. It has applications in
any content area that deals with "place" and has been successfully
integrated from elementary school (2nd-3rd grade) through graduate level
coursework. Research has shown that geospatial technologies motivate and
engage students in the learning process, promote higher order thinking
skills, and increase academic achievement, including scores on
high-stakes testing. Reading comprehension, in particular, has shown
large increases when GIS has been integrated in the content areas. This
is an incredible deal, as the cost of this software could be as high as
$25,000 per station for businesses and industry clients and you can have
it for FREE! (Limited to educational use as described above.) A short
video on GIS can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEaMzPo1Q7Q
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEaMzPo1Q7Q> .

We are looking for some in our state who might be interested in being
"early adopters." Perhaps you attended a GIS workshop in the past or
perhaps you are just one of those teachers who like to explore new
things and are willing to play with the software. We know that new
school software rollouts usually happen during the summer-machines get
rebuilt and the tech staff works to get everything ready for the opening
day. Although we will be conducting professional development training
and offering a variety of workshops starting in the fall, we'd like to
get the software into the hands of interested schools, teachers, and
tech administrators this summer so that the software can be installed
and ready to go in your classrooms and computer labs when you return to
school. (In addition, if it rains all summer and you get really bored,
you would have the opportunity to play with it and begin thinking about
how you might incorporate this powerful set of tools in your curriculum
or program!)

Interested? To find out more about the state license agreement, how to
get the software, and upcoming training opportunities, visit 
<http://www.nhedgis.org/> http://www.nhedgis.org
<http://www.nhedgis.org./> . Or... email Bob Woolner, Ina Ahern, Lara
Bryant, Judy Tumosa and Stan Freeda at our combined email address of 
nhedgispartnership at gmail.com <mailto:nhedgispartnership at gmail.com>  and
we will be in touch again soon!

Official Press Release:

New Hampshire DOE Signs Statewide GIS License Agreement with Esri
Concord, New Hampshire-July 16, 2012-Over 200,000 students in New
Hampshire schools now have the ability to learn and apply 21st century
geospatial concepts using the ArcGIS software developed by Environmental
System Research Institute (ESRI).  Thanks to a statewide partnership
between ESRI, the world's leading geographic information system (GIS)
software developer, and the New Hampshire Department of Education, this
new partnership will allow every public and private school throughout
the state unprecedented access to ESRI's state-of-the-art GIS tools for
use in education and research. The agreement also includes school
administrative use for tasks like creating district maps and efficient
bus routes.

According to Judy Tumosa of New Hampshire Fish & Game, "This partnership
will provide a wonderful opportunity for teachers to use GIS to gather,
display, analyze and share their data as they study their watersheds".
Kevin Heany, social studies teacher at Monadnock Regional High School
says, "Our environmental studies students have been actively involved in
collecting data from the nearby Asheulot River.  Giving them the
opportunity with ArcGIS to map and visualize their own data, as well as
the capability to actively participate in monitoring the water quality
is exciting,"

Recognized non-formal education groups such as 4-H Clubs, Boy Scouts,
Girl Scouts, Boys Clubs and Girls Clubs will also have access to the
software. Shane Bradt, director of the UNH Cooperative Extension
Geospatial Technologies Training Center, is excited that "Not only will
this ESRI license provide a wonderful opportunity to engage kids in
geospatial inquiry in the classroom, but the availability of GIS to
afterschool groups will further integrate spatial thinking into the next
generation of NH students".
The partnership with ESRI was made possible through the collaborative
effort of the New Hampshire State Department of Education, New Hampshire
Geographic Alliance (NHGA), New Hampshire Fish and Game, and UNH
Cooperative Extension.  This collaborative effort would not have been
possible without individual efforts from teachers like Plymouth Regional
High School teacher, Ina Ahern, who was awarded the Christa McAuliffe
Sabbatical Fellowship in 2008-2009 with a project which promoted GIS in
New Hampshire schools, as well as Robert Woolner, geography teacher at
Hopkinton Middle High School, who began using GIS with his students in
1997, and is chair of the NHGA geospatial literacy initiative. This
group has formed a team of New Hampshire Education GIS Specialists
(NHEdGIS) that will not only manage the state account, but also provide
professional development for teachers as part of a strategically planned
effort to foster geospatial literacy across the state.

"I have been working with future teachers, teaching them how to
effectively use the software in their classrooms to support geographic
inquiry," says Dr. Lara Bryant, an assistant professor at Keene State
College, who teaches a GIS in K-12 education course and is also the
coordinator of the NHGA.  "It is now exciting that the software will be
available to them when they begin teaching. GIS really allows teachers
to create an inquiry based learning environment; one in which students
can ask questions, explore spatial data and begin to derive possible
solutions to the variety of geographic issues our communities face."
ESRI Education Manager, Charlie Fitzpatrick, added "This is a huge
opportunity for students of New Hampshire to build their career options.
GIS is in every industry, GIS is STEM (science, technology, engineering,
mathematics), GIS is green, and GIS is growing."

Professional development that introduces geospatial technologies to
educators and schools throughout the state will be provided through a
variety of opportunities.  The NHEdGIS team is creating online
professional development workshops through the New Hampshire Digital
Resource Consortium (www.nhdrc.org <http://www.nhdrc.org/> ) as part of
their Institute in a Box series. The team will also be presenting
workshops at state teacher conferences such as the New Hampshire Council
for Social Studies Fall Conference, New Hampshire Science Teachers'
Association Fall Conference, and the Christa McAuliffe Technology
Conference.  A variety of other workshops and institutes are also
planned to aid teachers in the implementation of this powerful
technology in their classrooms. 

For additional information regarding the New Hampshire ESRI partnership,
visit http://www.nhedgis.org <http://www.nhedgis.org/>  




ETNews is a service of the Office of Educational Technology  

NH Department of Education    101 Pleasant Street    Concord, NH

For more information, contact 

Stan Freeda

603.271.5132       Stanley.Freeda at doe.nh.gov
<mailto:sfreeda at ed.state.nh.us>      
www.opennh.org <http://www.opennh.org/>         www.nheon.org


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