Texas State University announces online Masters and PhD programs in Geographic Education

The following programs are scheduled to begin in Fall 2020. Scholarships are available.

Masters in Applied Geography (Geographic Education)

Hybrid PhD Program in Geographic Education (Proposed for Fall 2020)

Podcast on legacy of pandemics in the Americas

Dr. W. George Lovell, Professor of Geography at Queens University in Ontario, Canada and Visiting Professor in Latin American History at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide in Seville, Spain, joins the American Geographical Society Podcast to discuss his research on epidemics in the Columbian-era Americas. We discuss Columbus’ arrival in the New World – and the impact of disease that came with him – marking the beginning of globalization…does COVID-19 mark the end?

The American Geographical Society has done several podcasts related to Covid-19 and Geography in general. To see others go to https://americangeo.org/the-american-geographical-society-podcast/.


FREE PD – #YouCanMapThat: Using GIS to Enhance the Classroom

The Virginia Geographic Alliance is excited to offer the online, 8-hour professional development workshop, #YouCanMapThat: Using GIS to Enhance the Classroom.  It is open to grades K-12 faculty and pre-service teachers and is limited to 30 participants.  Register here

Location:  Online via Zoom

Dates:  June 2nd and June 3rd 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM (with optional homework assignment)

#YouCanMapThat! is a FREE Online Instructor-led  Professional Development Program that will teach you to:

Access and utilize 100+ classroom ready 15-Minute GeoInquiries for US History, Human Geography, World History, US Government, Mathematics, Language Arts, and Earth Science

  • Use web maps as a bell-ringer, a lesson plan, and/or a classroom discussion tool
  • Create customized Web Maps that embed text, primary source Images, YouTube videos, and much more.  To access a sample map on the Louisiana Purchase go to: http://arcg.is/1xvC7Pg
  • Register your school for a free site-license for Esri’s ArcGIS Online software (Up to 500 accounts).

Other benefits include:

  • 8 Continuing Education/Recertification Points
  • free supplemental workbook and lesson plans
  • access to an online Professional Learning Community
  • $35.00 Amazon Gift Card for successfully participating in the workshop.


 Register by 12:00 PM May 31, 2020



Online Course: The Where of Why: GIS in the Humanities Classroom

VGA members Chris Bunin and Christine Esposito are working with the National Humanities Center to offer professional development that carries 35 professional development hours. The course runs May 26 – June 30, 2020. For more information and registration form, visit https://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/education-programs/courses/. VGA members should use the promotional discount code VGA20, which is good for 30% off the registration fee.

Flyer as PDF



Esri Now Offering Students Access to Software at No-Cost

Esri is committed to supporting students and educators amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) college and university closures. As part of our continued efforts, Esri announced on March 30, 2020, that we will provide student software licensing at no cost until August 31, 2020, through Learn ArcGIS. Student software licensing through Learn ArcGIS includes access to ArcGIS Online and over 20 apps such as ArcGIS Pro, along with a library of lessons that are available in seven languages. To get started, have your students visit the Learn ArcGIS website and fill out the form to become a member and request software.

For more complete information view PDF

National Geographic Learn at Home Resources

Classroom Resources:

National Geographic Education Resource Library contains thousands of items like photographs, lessons, units, videos, articles, and much more that can be filtered by keyword, grade level, content type, or subject.  You can also create a free account so that you can save your searches.

We have curated a special collection to support educators, parents, and caregivers called Learn at Home as we all navigate this unprecedented time. There are seven collections and new ones will be added weekly.  These materials are categorized by age group as well as topic areas. Some of these experiences also encourage students to get offline and safely explore the outside world, such as in their backyard, their own home, or a city block. Not all students will have the ability to go outside right now, due to stay-at-home orders, so we’re trying to provide a range of materials, including those that are tech-focused and those that are low- or no-tech to give educators and families the freedom to teach and explore in multiple ways.

One of our Education Fellows, Asheley Lamb-Sinclair, launched a new resource  for educators called The Real Time Curriculum Project.    This new and really unique platform consists of a series of “minute projects,” each focused on real-time, relevant current events. The first piece is focused on the coronavirus.

#TeacherStrong:  Educators have been organizing themselves into a #TeacherStrong movement to help them find support and resources they need.  NatGeo Education fellow, Dwayne Reed is now hosting a weekly Twitter chat under #TeacherStrong each Sunday evening at 8:00pmEDT.  There are also lots of online conversations happening under this hashtag so check it out on social channels. 3/30 Twitter chat focused on the topic:   Learning at home with low-tech/no-tech.

Student Experiences

We have launched a DAILY Explorer Classroom event on YouTube. This will appear every weekday for the foreseeable future.  Anyone can register here. Explore Classroom is an opportunity to connect young people with scientists, researchers, storytellers and other real-world role models/problem-solvers as they go out in the field, and helps students develop an explorer’s mindset. You will find parent guides to support each event with an educator guide coming soon.

VGA Webinars support remote teaching using ArcGIS Online

The VGA GIS team shared a series of webinars this week to support remote teaching and learning of history and geography via ArcGIS Online:

Esri offers Mapping Hour, free instructional videos for ArcGIS Online

Mapping Hour is a free set of 20 informal one-hour instructional videos about ArcGIS Online for parents and teachers, with chunks that scaffold concepts and skills for using ArcGIS Online in K12 instruction. The videos take users from an initial experience with GIS to integrating tools for an involved project. The website will present the full series of 20 videos. It is now open with the trailer and first five videos in the series.


VGA makes new digital Atlas of Virginia available to public schools free of charge through June 30, 2020

An Atlas of Virginia -3rd edition  BETA
Now available for free to all K12 Public Schools through June 30, 2020

In an effort to support teachers and students during the duration of the 2019-2020 school year,  The Virginia Geographic Alliance is making a digital version of the forthcoming An Atlas of Virginia, the  Teacher Guide and selected maps in BETA testing mode available free of charge to all Virginia K-12 public schools  through June 30, 2020. An Atlas of Virginia, including all of its maps and narrative pages, are held in copyright by The Virginia Geographic Alliance (VGA) and may not be reproduced. Links for school divisions to embed on their division websites for teachers and students to access were shared with each Superintendent by the VDOE in March. Please see your division Superintendent for more information and local access.

In addition to making access to the digital version of An Atlas of Virginia free to all K-12 Schools through June 30th, 2020 the following always free materials are also being made available while still in BETA testing:

Virginia GeoInquiries at https:// vga.maps.arcgis.com and the secondary American history Story Map 

Journals at bit.ly/PlacingPrimarySources.

The Teacher Guide for An Atlas of Virginia, bit.ly/CitationPage,  and all related materials, as well as the Virginia GeoInquiries are licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA. 

Reuters coronavirus maps, graphs, and charts

Reuters has published several maps, graphs and charts tracing the growth in number of coronavirus cases in the US and across the globe. Go to: https://graphics.reuters.com/CHINA-HEALTH-MAP/0100B59S39E/index.html