Using ArcGIS Story Maps in the Classroom

Wisdom Wednesdays – At Aspengrove School, we participate in a school-wide Pro-D event three times a year, called Wisdom Wednesday. Here, we share practice, ideas and applications that we think are relevant and will impact positively upon our everyday teaching. At the most recent session, I decide to present on using ArcGIS StoryMaps in the classroom.

Why use a GIS in the classroom?

Following on from previous blog posts concerning what a GIS actually is, a classroom that integrates geospatial problem-solving tools across all its teaching and learning practices is a GIS-enabled classroom.

I believe that teachers should make this their goal because a GIS-enabled classroom:

  • Develops problem-solving skills
  • Cultivates critical thinking skills
  • Fosters data literacy skills
  • Employs cutting-edge technology to address real-world problems
  • Supports collaborative learning
  • Encourages the transference of learning across a range of academic disciplines
  • Produces active and engaging learning experiences for students
  • Is lively and fun

I have used ArcGIS StoryMaps in many of my classes as a means of presenting a particular unit of work, and my students have used StoryMaps for a variety of reasons:

  1. Mapping global distributions | Grade 8 | Social Studies
  2. Creating a timeline or narrative for WWI| Grade 10 | Social Studies
  3. Creating a living resume | Grade 10 | Career Life Education
  4. Showing the results from a project or experiment | Grade 8 | Social Studies

Below is the StoryMap presentation that I used in the two workshops. This outlines information regarding:

  1. What StoryMaps are.
  2. How they can be used.
  3. Examples of StoryMaps used in other schools.
  4. Examples of specific features such as Express Maps, Guided Flyover Tours, and Thematic Maps.
  5. Links to other useful Esri resources.

Wisdom Wednesday StoryMap Presentation

March’s GIS Ambassador for Esri Canada

To find out more about I used the Wisdom Wednesday Program to promote GIS at my school, and to see some examples of StoryMaps created by my students, please click on the link below:

March’s GIS Ambassador Natasha Parsons promotes GIS use across curriculum

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