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NCGE Honors Instructional Guide for The ArcGIS Book

Instructional Guide for The ArcGIS Book won an award at this summer's National Conference on Geography Education.
Instructional Guide for The ArcGIS Book won an award at this summer's National Conference on Geography Education.

Instructional Guide for The ArcGIS Book, written by GIS instructors Kathryn Keranen and Lyn Malone and published by Esri, has won the Geographic Excellence in Media (GEM) Award from the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE).

“The GEM Award honors media that [have] made extraordinary contributions to the promotion of geographic literacy. A panel of NCGE reviewers agreed unanimously to honor this innovative, well-designed resource,” the announcement says. The award was presented on July 29, 2017, during the NCGE’s annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Mike Livingston from Esri Press recently interviewed the authors of the award-winning book.

Livingston: How did the Instructional Guide for The ArcGIS Book come about?

Keranen and Malone: We are longtime GIS instructors, and Esri Press approached us about writing an instructional guide as a companion to The ArcGIS Book: 10 Big Ideas about Applying Geography to Your World. The idea was to give ArcGIS users hands-on lessons and activities that would help them better understand the concepts in The ArcGIS Book. All the activities and lessons would be scenario based and focus on the uniqueness of GIS to solve problems. The objective is for users to learn by doing GIS.

Lyn Malone (left) and Kathryn Keranen wrote Instructional Guide for The ArcGIS Book and Instructional Guide for The ArcGIS Imagery Book.
Lyn Malone (left) and Kathryn Keranen wrote Instructional Guide for The ArcGIS Book and Instructional Guide for The ArcGIS Imagery Book.

Livingston: What makes this book unique?

Keranen and Malone: The delivery of the data. Nothing needs to be downloaded or installed. Many of the lessons don’t even require an ArcGIS Online account—the user can begin learning immediately. Another unique characteristic of this book is its versatility. It can be used as a self-tutorial for those who want to learn—or learn more—about web GIS, or as a collection of materials to use to teach GIS to others.

Livingston: How have instructors responded to the Instructional Guide for the ArcGIS Book?

Keranen and Malone: Instructors have been very receptive to the activities and lessons. They have commented on the ease of use and relevance of the lessons, along with the fact that they are using the analytical and problem-solving power of a GIS to address real-world issues—not simply turning layers on and off. Instructor enthusiasm was a major factor in the decision this spring to make the update to Instructional Guide for The ArcGIS Book available as a PDF [soon].

Instructional Guide for The ArcGIS Imagery Book will be published by Esri this month.
Instructional Guide for The ArcGIS Imagery Book will be published by Esri this month.

Livingston: You have just finished Instructional Guide for The ArcGIS Imagery Book, which will publish this month. Are you now working to complete the companion to The ArcGIS Book: 10 Big Ideas about Applying The Science of Where, Second Edition?

Keranen and Malone: Yes. We have been asked to create an instructional guide for this new edition. Some lessons from the original Instructional Guide for The ArcGIS Book will be part of that book, but at least half the lessons and activities will be new. The book will be available in the fall of 2017.

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