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GIS Grant

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Geography Information Systems

Geography provides us with knowledge. Data points to patterns. When the two combine Geographic Information Systems (GIS) emerge.

The School of Education, The School of Arts and Sciences, and New Haven Public Schools will work in collaboration to bring geographic information systems to classrooms from grades 3-12.

The project will involve a month long institute where teachers will receive training and develop lesson plans. Then throughout the year faculty will receive observation, feedback and coaching.

 

GIS Goals for Participants

 

  1. Be able to use GIS in the classroom. Use 1 or more of the 12 provided exercises, or your own GIS exercise, in the classroom and let us know how it went.  Let us know what worked and what didn’t work in your time with Dr. Okobi?
  2. Be able to create a unique GIS exercise. Create a plan for a GIS exercise of your own creation and submit it to Dr. McVerry ReVIEW.

 

Key Points

 •The GIS goals of this grant are to provide teachers with GIS training and materials so they can try GIS in their classrooms and report back on their experiences.  GIS in the classroom is cutting edge and high tech.  This grant does not have specific expectations or requirements that teachers must achieve.  We want your help in trying to find out what works and what challenges teachers incur when using GIS in the classroom.

•The hope is that the exercises provided to teachers and that teachers make during this grant work well and can continue to be used in New Haven schools after this grant expires.
•An aspirational outcome of this grant is that teachers become the trainers of their colleagues that are interested in using GIS in their classrooms.

 

The Team

A Teacher Quality Partnership Grant from the Connecticut State Department of Education has made the project possible. Dr Elsie Okobi, of the Education Department and Dr. Mary Brown lead the project. Dr Matthew Miller of the Department of the Environment, Geography, and Marine Sciences leads the GIS trainings while Dr. Greg McVerry provides pedagogical and technical support. Sandra Clark, Supervisor of Curriculum of New Haven Public Schools, coordinates the partnership with local schools.

The Goal

This type of interdisciplinary research represents the the cutting edge of collaboration with local school districts. Engineering better teachers takes a community effort. The grant will help teachers prepare students for the future. In history and geography, like all subjects, technologies are  disciplinary literacies.

The Plan

 Monday, June 26 and Tuesday, June 27 – walk-in assistance loading QGIS onto your laptop (You will receive instructions ahead of June 26 that will allow you to complete this yourself; however, Professor Miller will be available June 26 and June 27 to help you with this download if needed. (Note: Please check that you either have or do not need administrator privilege to add software to a district-issued laptop. If you need and do not have administrator privilege to add software then you will need to ask your district IT staff to complete this installation for you.) 

Monday, July10-Thursday, July 13 and Monday, July 17-Thursday, July 20 – Eight day institute on Southern’s campus, 9 am – 3 pm. During the institute participants will be divided into two cohorts. One cohort will work with Dr. Miller and QGIS in the morning and with Prof. McVerry and lesson/learning development in the afternoon. The other cohort will work with Prof. McVerry in the morning and with Prof. Miller in the afternoon. Prof. Miller will be using Southern’s GIS lab in Morrill 122; Prof. McVerry will be using a computer lab in Buley Library (room 205). Before June 26 we will send you more information on parking and reaching these rooms. 

Wednesday, August 23 – gear-up for Fall. This is an in-service day to be held on Southern’s campus to ensure you are all ready and set to go into the classroom armed with exciting GIS implementations to introduce in your classroom during the opening weeks of the new school year. We will review of GIS and IBL, work through select lessons (“doing geography” as students), reflect on task and outcomes, troubleshooting issues as needed, establish a standardized framework for sharing developed lessons/units, and establish/become familiar with an e-portfolio framework for storing developed lessons/units and evidence of student learning outcomes (samples of student work). As part of our plan to ensure your continued success, Professor Elsie Okobi will visit you in your school at least once each month to touch base and gather information on how GIS implementation is going and any needed support issues that have arisen. During the August 23, 2017, gathering we will set up the visiting schedule. 

Thursday, August 24 – work with your district IT staff to ensure QGIS has been installed on your classroom computer (Note: If administrator privilege is needed to add software to the classroom computer you will need your IT department to complete the installation; otherwise you should be able to complete the download/installation on your own if you choose.) 

Tuesday, November 7 – You will return to Southern for an in-service day to share experiences with GIS in the classroom (successes, challenges, needs). Specific focus will be determined to meet the needs of participants based on information gathered during monthly site visits. In general, this in-service day will reinforce knowledge and skills, add new knowledge and skills, and provide coaching and support for participants’ inclusion of GIS in their lessons, including using IBL, and incorporating GIS into interdisciplinary lessons.

Friday, December 8 – half of participating teachers (cohort A) will return to Southern for a second in-service day. Specific focus will be determined to meet the needs of participants based on information gathered at site visits. In general, each tiered in-service day will reinforce knowledge and skills, add new knowledge and skills, and provide coaching and support for participants’ inclusion of GIS in their lessons, including using IBL, and incorporating GIS into interdisciplinary lessons.

Friday, January 8, 2018 – half of participating teachers (cohort B) will return to Southern for a second in-service day. Specific focus will be determined to meet the needs of participants based on information gathered at site visits. In general, each tiered in-service day will reinforce knowledge and skills, add new knowledge and skills, and provide coaching and support for participants’ inclusion of GIS in their lessons, including using IBL, and incorporating GIS into interdisciplinary lessons.

July 2018 – all participating teachers will return to Southern for a second three-day institute. You will share your experiences, student projects and learning outcomes, revisions to original lesson plans, and new GIS-infused lessons. You will also prepare for turnkey mentoring to share GIS knowledge, skills, and curricular applications with other teachers.