Category Archives: Redlands

University of Redlands students shining in their spatial literacy course

I want to send a shout out to all of my EDUC 616 students this weekend.  I’m grading recent assignments and I am SO PROUD of what you’ve learned over the last two months!  You guys rock!  I just need to step out of the way and let you emerging educators take over.   Really nice work.

Exploring migration mapping

Wondering what’s been happening at Redlands lately?  This week we’ve been immersed in discussions about mapping migrations.  It’s the central point of our 2011 LENS activities, a 4-day Mapping Migrations Institute in which we immerse ourselves in conceptual, technical, cartographic, and pedagogic issues of migration and their representations.  It’s been both heady and sweet.

I’m too beat tonight to share details, but I’ll share the highlights soon.  Meanwhile, if anyone has some great examples of migratory mapping, or questions they want to throw our way, send them on.

GIS or Spatial Literacy in Gen Ed Courses?

A colleague of mine at Redlands is researching the idea of having one of our new or existing mapping-based courses become part of the University’s general education program.  I’ve learned that there are “Intro to GIS” courses that satisfy gen ed requirements at Dickinson, Rhodes, Wheaton, and San Diego State. In each of these cases the classes satisfy a “quantitative reasoning” requirement.

Though the quantitative reasoning category seems like a logical and straight-forward choice, I’m interested to learn of others as well.  At Redlands we have an archaeology/anthropology course called Mapping People, Mapping Places.  Students ask and answer a suite of anthropology and archaeology questions, using spatial analysis as the basis throughout.  I think it would be a great course for a gen ed category on analysis or problem-solving.  As noted in an earlier post, Harvard is also looking to integrate GIS into its gen ed courses, and I look forward to seeing the results of that.

At Redlands we’ve even gone so far as to consider having a whole category of spatial reasoning courses.  To make this viable, we’d need at least 10-15 (?) courses offered in any given semester whose content had been found to be adequately spatial.  What a lofty goal!  We’re not nearly there yet…

If anyone has examples of mapping-related courses that satisfy gen ed courses on their campuses, email me to let me know.

Update: URISA has an entire special journal issue on GIS Education (pdf) which includes an article by Tsou and Yanow specifically on GIS and General Education (pdf).   Thanks, Mark.

new Spatial Literacy classes to be offered online

The University of Redlands intends to offer its new courses in spatial literacy for educators (pdf) online, maybe as early as September 2011!   We’re very excited about this program, one that we launched in 2010.   Contact me if you want to learn more about the program or its individual classes, or how to sign up!

GeoDesign redaction

I’ve just finished up two weeks of work with “GeoDesign.” Or should we call it geodesign, or geoDesign, to capture the “big” D that may be missing…

First, it was the Summit. Hosted at Esri for the 2nd year. Co-hosted by myself and Eric Wittner for the 2nd year. Which means that we coordinated submissions of lightning talks and idea labs and longer presentations, and arranged the schedule, and got to be mic’ed up for speaking on stage. Lots of work for little glory, but that’s what life’s about. It’s all for a good cause – finding effective ways to bring design practices more aligned with geographical reality and expectations, supported by the “enabling” technologies emerging today.
Then a power-house five-day workshop, directed by the inimitable Carl Steinitz. Carl was Jack Dangermond’s mentor (advisor?) as a Harvard grad student in the late 1960s and his presence still looms large on New York Street today. Carl and his posse ran a large-scale research project to explore which approaches to geodesign work well. Over 30 of us were divided into 9 different teams to pursue a common outcome through differing approaches. Specifically we worked out plans for both open space and a transit-oriented development within the city of Redlands. Fascinating experience overall, but already the results for the city seem more ephemeral than the video recorded for Carl’s research agenda.

Mapping People Institute

Our 2010 Mapping People Institute concluded today, part of the 3-yr grant received from the Keck Foundation. An indulgent 2.5 days of intellectual discussions around the topics of how we can best represent social and cultural information across geographic space, and why it matters for communication and learning. Had some great synergy among participants and I am eager for our 3 LENS Fellows to achieve great things this year.