Screen capture of a Story Map related to Education in NicaraguaWritten by Mukila Maitha, Assistant Professor, Geography

The Teaching with Geospatial Technologies Community of Practice (CoP) brings together faculty who have an active interest in the use and infusion of GIS (Geographic Information Systems), GPS (Global Positioning Systems), and Earth Imagery in the curriculum. The CoP’s goal is to promote the use of these technologies by faculty from diverse disciplines across the college and to promote collaboration among the CoP members.

This semester the CoP reached out to faculty from all divisions to find out who might be interested in having a GIS activity created for at least one course. The response was stronger than expected with 20 departments expressing interest in a GIS project. CoP members will work with the interested faculty to design and create a suitable assignment for implementation in Spring 2019. The results of this project will be shared with the college and at a regional or national conference.

View artifacts that have been developed by members of the CoP:

  • Connecting Across Campus: Using a Community of Practice Model for GIS InfusionThis presentation was about how we formed a Community of Practice to infuse GIS into courses across disciplines, enabling training, collaboration, and innovation for faculty of differing skill levels and needs at Harper. Our projects range from teaching geography students how to use GIS to explore flood hazards and the collection and mapping of epidemiological data for a biology course, using online maps for wayfinding in German language classes, and by students in a study-abroad sociology course in London.
  • Story Map Tutorial for ENG 102 (Honors)Students enrolled in Dr. Richard Johnson’s ENG 102 (Honors) service learning study abroad program to Nicaragua in 2018 were required to document their experiences by creating a dynamic GIS web application on ArcGIS Online that incorporated maps, narrative, static images, and in some cases video. The students completed story map tutorials, provided by Mukila Maitha (Geography), that helped them build technical skills and learn about the geography of Nicaragua, collected location information using GPS devices while in the field, and also kept journals which were used for the narrative text upon return.
  • GIS Story Maps in a German Language CourseKim Jaeger created a new assignment for GER 201 in which students created their own ArcGIS Online StoryMaps as summaries of pretend trips to German cities. They had specific language goals for the assignment and were instructed to create a mock trip to the city. Each student researched tourism in his/her city of choice and made a StoryMap to summarize their pretend trip.

CoP members for this academic year are: Amy Bandman, James Edstrom, James Gramlich, Jose-Cristian Martinez, Kimberly Jaeger, Michael Ribant, Mukila Maitha, Nellie Khalil, Richard Johnson, and Tong Cheng.