8th Grade WV History Teacher GIS Training

I’m glad this day is finally here. I’ve enjoyed preparing for today’s training and creating for us to use in the training. For links and more detailed information about today’s training, visit this page, which duplicates today’s handout.

Enjoy the day!


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Posted by on July 30, 2013 in Trainings


GIS Training, CTE, July 25, 2013

Welcome! I’m excited that we’re having this training today. Below is today’s session description. I will do my very best to make sure that everyone leaves here with some sort of working knowledge of ArcGIS online and how to use it in instruction – all in 4 hours, let’s get busy!

Please grab a paper copy of the agenda and then click Resources (upper right of this page) and then today’s training notes. That will get you to the links you’ll need.


ArcGIS – Exploring the Possibilities!

Presenter: Erika Klose, Science Teacher, Winfield Middle School

Session Description: Teachers will gain hands on experience using ESRI’s ArcGIS software to explore ways to integrate these skill sets into the curricula of agriculture, information technology, engineering, drafting, and mining extraction. Erika Klose is a geologist turned science teacher in Winfield, WV. She manages the K-12 Statewide License for the ArcGIS (ESRI) software for the state of West Virginia. She regularly trains classroom teachers in the various methods of incorporating GIS into core content classroom instruction.

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Posted by on July 24, 2013 in GIS Techniques, Trainings


Learning in a Yurt!

It was so much fun to help with TMI’s summer watershed training. We had a blast and did GIS in a yurt! So high tech and so close to nature. It was the best!


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Posted by on July 23, 2013 in GIS Techniques


GIS in WV Update

Hello folks!

I wanted to send you an update on GIS and geography happenings in our state.  As I write this, I am in San Diego finishing up my time at the ESRI Education Users Conference.  It has been an exciting and inspirational time and there are so many things that I would like to share with you all. I’ll do my best to keep it brief. No promises.

First of all, let me remind you that we have a statewide license for all the ESRI software.  What this means, is that we can feely give you desktop software to install in your schools.  ESRI has many online courses that are available to you freely to help you get to know this software.  You can download the desktop software at and then request a license from me.  As an FYI – and update to version 10.2 will be coming soon. I’ve heard that it’s just an update – not a complete re-install. If you need help, ask me.

If the desktop software is not something you’re interested in, or if it’s difficult for you to get software installed, let me tell you about the most important thing to come out of this year’s User Conference.  You may remember that about a year ago, I told you that we now had a statewide license for the ArcGIS online organization accounts.

You may have taken some training recently with me and received a login for our This login is different from an ESRI personal account, which many of you have, in that an account in an organization has more tools for analysis. It’s really pretty amazing.  It’s not necessary to use the desktop software to do some pretty snazzy analysis.

What is even more exciting to me, and hopefully to you, is that we have huge access to these organization accounts. I’ve created one for your use – This site is a place that I envision as an atlas for WV teachers to use in their teaching. When you visit, please check out the maps that are available on the site. More importantly, please e-mail me and tell me maps that you need in order to teach. For example, do you need a map of Coal Producing Counties in WV? Tell me and I’ll make it (if possible), or better yet make the map in ArcGIS Online, share it, and tell me. I’ll pull it into the atlas.  (FYI, I’ll get the coal map done soon.) Again, these are maps to be used for teaching – think of maps that you display in your classroom, which ones would you rather display with your projector – and access the data behind them? Please tell me!

I’ve also started an org account to use for data collection. If you visit this site, you’ll see something that I’m planning to try for GIS Day in November.  There’s a map there that I will “unlock” in November and you and your students will be able to access it online and with smartphones. When you access it, you’ll be able to click on a location, and add a photo and observation of that location. I’m thinking of it as a statewide data collection activity – Observing Your Environment. You’ll hear more about that later …

If you’re interested in doing a data collection project like this, let me know. I can help you get it set up. I really want to use this org account as a repository of WV teacher/student created data.  It’s a great tool. Please use it.

Lastly, as I said, we have huge access to these organization accounts. You’ll notice that they all have a unique web address before the part of the address. You as teachers, or as a school, can have your own organization account. You could have your own galleries of maps your students create and create your own student accounts (up to 100) for them to share and create maps.

This is a big step for us as educators! These organization accounts have much greater capabilities than the personal accounts that you all have. If you are comfortable with your personal account in, you have what it takes to have your own organization. You’ll be able to create student accounts (up to 100) and have your students do analysis online – NO DESKTOP SOFTWARE REQUIRED.  E-mail me. If this is something you’re interested in using, I can help you.

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Posted by on July 9, 2013 in ESRI User's Conference


March 23, 2013

I am so excited about this training! It sounds like we have a great group of educators coming. Can’t wait to meet them and hear their ideas for incorporating GIS into their teaching!

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Posted by on March 22, 2013 in Trainings


GIS Training, Bridgeport, March 9, 2013

8:00 – 9:00– Breakfast and Registration. Please get your laptop plugged in and started up. Please connect to the wireless internet.

9:00- 10:15

ü  Hopes and Fears: What are yours? For this session only

ü  Getting Started with GIS

ü  Why Geotechnology is Important!

ü  Why GIS? Why now? – Head to this page:  Read through some of these careers. Share with your neighbor. Tell us why we should be teaching and teaching with GIS now!

ü  Rope Activity

ü  GIS Basics

10:15 – 10:30 Break


Let’s look at some simple and neat webmapping tools created by ESRI.  How will you use one of these in your classroom? Head to  Take a look at the Latitude – Longitude Finder, Sketch-A-Map, Elevation Profile Map Tool, Landsat Viewers, and  Zipcode Lookup utilities.  Which one to you like the best?
ESRI has published a number of Story Maps – a way to tell a story with a map. Check this page out, along with a few maps. Share with your neighbor and then share with the group.

Quick Lesson Plan: What is a topic you teach that you could use one of these tools with next week?

11:00 – 2:30 (Lunch from 12:30 – 1:15)

Let’s Play for a Few Minutes

Geographic Inquiry Process & Instructional Use of GIS

ü  Like Scientific Method?

ü  Like 5 E Lesson Plan Model? Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate

Explore ArcGIS Online When landing on, we have a couple of options – sign in with an account, or scroll to the bottom of the page to get to the link for “maps for personal use” (Home). We will scroll down and explore a bit and then create a personal account.

  • Explore the Gallery
    • Maps
    • Web Maps
    • Explore the Map Viewer
      • Legend (Details)
      • Basemap_
      • Add Layer
      • Measure
      • Bookmark
      • Scale and Zoom
      • Shift and Drag


  • Create an account (click Sign In)
  • Username: _______________________   Password: _________________________________
  • Create an Editable Layer (Adding a popup window and a data point)
    • Add data collected from a GPS (This requires heading to
    • Download data file here, right click on derocho_wind and save to your computer.

v  Practice searching for data

Use ArcGIS as a student Complete the Exploring Africa “scripted” activity

Explore Instructional Materials at

  • ArcLessons
  • Mapping Our World
  • ESRI Ed Team You Tube Channel
  • ESRI Training (Teaching with GIS: Introduction to Using GIS in the Classroom)

2:30 – 4:00

ü  You will now create a lesson plan of your own using  The lesson plan can be access here:

ü  Email Completed Lesson Plan to Joey Wiseman,

ü  Questions? Contact Erika Klose,

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Posted by on March 9, 2013 in Trainings



Hi folks!

You’re going to get really excited today about using GIS in your teaching. I’m positive of this! So, here are a few links to help you find some great resources to use in your classroom.

The ESRI EdCommunity page is excellent:

If you’ve ever used the book, Mapping Our World, Level 2, it has been been re-written for ArcGIS Online – You can find it here:  It’s a great resource!

To see what WVDE has to offer in terms of software and training, head here:

Teachers that take training in GIS through WVDE create a lesson plan for using GIS. Many of these lesson plans are available here: There are currently no Social Studies lessons here as they are currently being aligned to the new SS Standards.





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Posted by on February 16, 2013 in Trainings


Training at ETech Ohio 2013

I’m presenting two sessions today. I have a  45 minute session this AM, on teaching with ArcGIS and using geotechnologies in the classroom. Then this afternoon, I’m doing a 3 hour workshop on using ArcGIS for instruction. I’m so excited. I’m pasting the agenda for this afternoon below.

Workshop Agenda

Hopes and Fears: What are yours? For this session only. :)

Introduction: What is GIS and why is geotechnology important in education? (Super Short .ppt)       

Geo-Education Article

ESRI Education Community Resources

Explore Web Mapping Tools Head to and follow along as we explore the WebMapping tools. Remember, click the Web Mapping link. In addition to the basic Map Viewer, there are all sorts of fun tools like the Zip Code Lookup and the Elevation Profile Map Tool.

Explore ArcGIS Online When landing on, we have a couple of options – sign in with an account, or scroll to the bottom of the page to get to the link for “maps for personal use” (Home). We will scroll down and explore a bit and then create a personal account.

  • Explore the Gallery
    • Maps
    • Web Maps
    • Explore the Map Viewer
      • Legend (Details)
      • Basemap
      • Add Layer
      • Measure
      • Bookmark
      • Scale and Zoom
      • Create an account (click Sign In)
      • Create an Editable Layer (Adding a popup window and a data point)
      • Add data collected from a GPS (derocho_wind NWS Specific Wind Rpts 6/2012)

Use ArcGIS as a student Complete the Exploring Africa “scripted” activity

Explore Instructional Materials at

  • ArcLessons
  • Mapping Our World
  • ESRI Ed Team You Tube Channel
  • ESRI Training (Teaching with GIS: Introduction to Using GIS in the Classroom)


  • Questions
  • Contacts


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Posted by on February 11, 2013 in Trainings


Trainings approaching!

Spring is always the time for GIS training! And here comes the GIS season!

In February (2/11), I am presenting at Ohio’s Etech (Educational Technology Conference). Ohio, like WV, now has an ESRI K-12 license. Yay for Ohio!!!!! You can see a map of the states and districts that have these licenses here: So I’m heading to Columbus to give a talk and then an afternoon workshop. The two sessions will be listed here:

Then on 2/17, there is a terrific training happening in Morgantown. The Mountain Institute is incorporating GIS into their long-standing Appalachian Watershed and Stream Monitors training program. I’ll be part of a contingent of instructors working to train teachers to collect, display, and analyze water quality data in an ArcGIS environment. So excited! You can see what TMI is doing here:

In March (9 & 23) WVDE hosts its annual GIS trainings in Bridgeport. I’m excited to do the training for those two days.


I’ve seen a few really neat GIS postings in various locations lately. The page has some nice blog posts. And the Geotech center has some great trainings going on this summer. I think I may be checking some of those out.

Happy GISing!

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Posted by on February 7, 2013 in Trainings


Star Lesson

I created the lesson below for use with my 7th graders. After demonstrating the methodology in my classroom with the projector, my students very quickly completed this assignment on their own. They enjoyed it and they used GIS as a tool to plan their star party!


Hi 7th Graders. As you know we’re working in the stars this week.  If you remember from the video, each year there is something called the Texas Star Party (, where amateur astronomers converge in the very dark Texas desert to set up their telescopes and watch the night skies.

Your assignment is to find a location here in WV to have your own star party.  There are a few requirements. Number one, it has to be a dark area – good for star gazing. Number two, it has to be in an open field. That is sometimes hard to find around here.

We’re going to use an online map to find a location for our party.

Open the following map document:

You’ll see an image of the Earth at Night,  along with a green circle.  This green circle has a radius of 100 miles and is centered on Charleston, WV. Your star party must be found within this circle. You can find more images of the Earth at night here: and more information about light pollution here:

Click Add -> Create Editable Layer. Click Create, to add the Map Notes Layer.

Click the Pushpin and add it to mark a possible location for your “Star” party.  Remember, you must be in a dark area to host your party.

Name your pushpin “Star Party” when the window appears and click “close”.

Zoom in (you zoom in and out with the scroll wheel on your mouse). The Earth at Night layer will disappear. Zoom in until you can see the terrain where your pushpin is located.  You need to have your party in an open field, preferably accessible by a road. If you’re on the side of a mountain, you’ll have to move.

Click on your pushpin and make sure the edit option is selected (it’s up at the top). You can now click and drag to move your pushpin to the nearest field. After you move your pushpin, you may need to click “close” again on the dialogue box that pops up.

Next, zoom out for a minute and make sure your pushpin is still in a dark area. If moving it brought it into an illuminated area, you’ll need to move it again. When you’re sure that you are in a dark area, get your latitude and longitude coordinates.

Click the measure button, and then click the “bulls eye” shape (the bulls eye gives you your latitude and longitude). Click on or hover over your pushpin. You’ll see the latitude and longitude of your star party location in the measure window.

Write the latitude and longitude on a note card and turn in.

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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Fun Stuff!, Lessons


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