Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in K-12

ArcGIS Online Clarification

ArcGIS Online (AGOL) allows you to create interactive maps and apps and share them with the rest of your district and students. Be productive right away with ready-to-use content, apps and templates available for the web, smartphone and tablet. This document has been designed to help teachers, technical coordinators and administrators get started the correct way. Although each district, school or club can ask for access to an AGOL registration code from the Minnesota Department of Education, there is a progression that can be followed that will actually make your life as a teacher easier. Request an AGOL registration code.

Follow the steps below to get started with ArcGIS Online.

Do teachers need an Esri AGOL subscription code to get going? No, in fact the best way to get started is to create a public account. Until you get proficient and want some of the extra advantages an organizational account will provide, using a public account is best. Follow the steps below and start running AGOL in your classroom in no time!

1. Start a free, public account for your classroom on the ArcGIS Online mapping platform website. Sign in by selecting the link in the upper right of the page and “Create a Public Account” in the lower left of the next screen. Select a username and password. Your students will be able to use this same username and password to upload completed maps to this site. You can create a separate public account for each classroom that you teach. Read AGO Strategies for information on public versus organizational accounts.

2. Now get a little experience. Complete five easy exercises at AGOL5x5. Each exercise shouldn’t take more than five minutes. No login is required. These exercises may be done from any Windows or Mac desktop computer, tablet (android or iPad) or smartphone.

3. The Mapping with AGOL web page will probably be the most important AGOL site for teachers starting out. Other resources include items 1-3, which provide help using the public version of AGOL. Item 8 provides information on switching to an organizational account. The district or school tech coordinator may request the required registration codes from the Minnesota Department of Education to start an organizational account. Item 12 is specifically for educators and is an excellent introduction to using AGOL in the classroom. Take advantage of the other videos, tutorials and information available as you learn how to use AGOL in your classroom.

Additional ArcGIS Online Resources

AGO Strategies describes the differences between a public and an organizational account.
Story Maps is a gallery of story maps and templates for you to use. This is a great method for students to explore GIS. Below are some exercise suggestions:
o Do a search for “Gettysburg” and view the excellent story map about the three-day battle that changed the Civil War.
o Students can turn their on GPS in their smartphones and walk out to a local forest and take GPS readings at various tree sites. They can take pictures and notes. Back in the classroom, these readings can be brought directly into AGOL. The locations, pictures, and notes become a “story map” around the biology of the forest just outside your classroom. As someone peruses the story, each location will have the notes and pictures about the location.
Visit the Esri Atlas Project: A collection of related maps for visual analysis.
Minnesota Demographics for Schools v2 is an AGOL interactive map showing 10 different demographic data layers along with county boundaries. Select the middle icon to view different data layers.
Visit the Esri K-12 education site to learn why you should use GIS in education.
Follow the Esri Education Team blog. There are discussion and information about Teachers teaching Teachers (T3G), using Storybooks in class, and information on how to integrate and use GIS more in the classroom.
• GIS professionals are in high demand. The GIS industry has been rated one of the top three industries looking for trained professionals. Explore GIS careers with students.
View the Esri Map Book to learn what types of maps GIS professionals are developing to make life easier.