nasa worldview map

NASA Worldview was one of the teaching tools introduced during the virtual workshop.

Submitted by Mukila Maitha, Geography

Twenty-five educators from around the country attended the Harper College-GeoTech Center virtual workshop on teaching with geospatial technologies from June 17 to June 19, 2020, which was facilitated by Mukila Maitha (Harper College) and Dr. Richard Schultz (GeoTech Center). Educators joined this virtual event from California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington DC, and Wyoming. The attendees included community college and university faculty, high school teachers, and independent educators. Because many disciplines have a geographic or spatial component, the fields represented were quite diverse. The educators taught biology (ecology, epidemiology), emergency management, ESL (English as a Second Language), fashion design, geography, geology, journalism/mass communications, library science, mathematics/statistics, paralegal studies, social studies, and Spanish.

The virtual workshop program was designed to give participants choice, flexibility, and opportunities for discussion and sharing. The attendees picked between online GIS (ArcGIS Online) and desktop GIS (ArcGIS Pro) on the first two days of the workshop and between Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS or drones) and remote sensing (Earth imagery) on the third day of the workshop. Hands-on exercises were provided, along with resources for further learning and curriculum development.

Harper participants were invited to join the Teaching with Geospatial Technologies Community of Practice (CoP) in the fall. This CoP brings together faculty from across the college who are interested in working together to create geospatial activities for their classes and for other faculty.

Geospatial technologies enable instructors to promote active learning through activities that include interactive maps, multimedia narratives (StoryMaps), and data analysis. Students benefit through learning tools for data analysis, visualization, and reporting. They also get to learn digital storytelling, spatial analysis, and at advanced levels, software and database development. This provides students with marketable career skills that are applicable in a wide range of fields that use location information.

(Click the image to the right to see a larger version.)

Questions? Please contact Mukila Maitha at