May 8, 2012
Redlands, CaliforniaWith the recent signing of a statewide license for the unlimited use of Esri's ArcGIS software, more than 2.7 million K–12 students in New York State (NYS) now have the opportunity to learn and apply geospatial concepts.
"Many educators recognize the ability of GIS to enhance all classes, so the interest in using GIS in schools continues to build," said Charlie Fitzpatrick, Esri K–12 schools program manager. "Making GIS available to all grades, all subjects, and youth clubs enables students in New York to integrate knowledge and develop problem-solving skills that lead toward a vast array of careers."
The GIS license agreement includes administrative use as well as classroom instruction throughout New York's K–12 state system and is available to recognized state youth groups, such as the 4-H Club, scouting organizations, and Boys and Girls Clubs.
The license agreement was made possible through the collaborative effort of the New York State GIS Association, New York Institute of Technology (NYIT)/NYS Teacher Centers (NYSTC), and individuals from universities and organizations in New York. Together, this NYS Esri K–12 Consortium is responsible for initiating, coordinating, and promoting Esri GIS K–12 program activities and professional development for teachers throughout New York State.
"A growing number of educators are using the power of maps, the excitement of new technologies, and the relevance of real-world investigations to motivate students to learn science and prepare them to think critically and creatively," said Stan Silverman, director of NYIT's Technology Based Learning Systems (TBLS), which is managing the activities of the statewide rollout of the system. "The key is providing students, teachers, and administrators world class tools to view data through multiple lenses and allowing them to tackle interdisciplinary problems."
Amy Work, GIS analyst and education coordinator at the Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technology (IAGT) in Auburn, New York, serves as one of the individuals implementing the license throughout the state. "We hope to introduce new educators to the many benefits of using GIS in the classroom and provide those teachers currently using the technology with the opportunity to advance their efforts without worrying about costs," said Work.
The NYS Esri K–12 Consortium recently conducted three webinars to promote GIS awareness in the state's education community and will soon begin a series of teacher training sessions. Work is also encouraging New York's K–12 educators and GIS professionals to join Esri's GeoMentor program so that they can work together to support GIS education in the classroom. She believes that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) classes, as well as history, English, and language arts, will benefit from the addition of GIS to the curriculum.
For additional information regarding the New York statewide GIS license, visit https://sites.google.com/site/nygisk12/.
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New York Institute of Technology offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study. A nonprofit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 14,000 students attending campuses on Long Island, in Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. Led by president Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, 89,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit www.nyit.edu.