Geographic Information Systems in K-12

This site is an educational portal for information and resources associated with the statewide Geographic Information Systems (GIS) license in the state of Minnesota. Geospatial technologies are one of the three fastest growing technology fields (Source: U.S. Department of Labor). To introduce students to the geospatial tools and skills that will be required for many high-demand jobs of the future, Minnesota through a partnership of organizations and individuals have negotiated a statewide license for ESRI Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software.

The software will be available at no cost to qualified organizations in Minnesota. These include, but are not limited to:

  • All K-12 public, private and charter schools
  • Homeschools
  • K-12 aged formal and non-formal youth groups (including afterschool and summer programs)

Get started with FREE ArcGIS software, ArcGIS Online maps and Esri Virtual Campus training.

GIS technology in the classroom provides an opportunity to use the same tools used in high-demand careers to examine geographic questions, conduct analysis and explore themes. Students work with data in ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports and charts. These skills are invaluable to studies in many subject areas, including science, mathematics, career and technical education, social studies, reading and language arts.

Set-up and Getting Started
The documents below will assist with setting up ArcGIS software, answer frequently asked questions and provide educators with resources to get started.

Available Training

U-Spatial ArcGIS Online FREE Training at University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota’s U-Spatial Center provides FREE GIS classes. If you are a teacher and can get a training day off school, this is a great place to get free training from a knowledgeable source. Visit the U-Spatial Training site for course dates, registration information and workshop materials.

Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education (MAGE)
The Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education is a group of educators who advocate for geographic literacy. The mission of the Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education is to be the premier collaborative organization on the forefront of geographic education by providing resources for teachers and opportunities for networking and experiences that motivate and inspire teachers for the benefit of students. Opportunities for teachers exist at MAGE through their Workshops and Conferences, student enrichment and Curriculum.

Members receive announcements via the MAGE NEWSFLASH; a periodic email notification which broadcasts information about FREE or low-cost opportunities for Geography Institutes and Workshops (with graduate credit or CEUs), and opportunities for receiving free or low cost teaching materials. MAGE is led by coordinator David A. Lanegran with a steering committee comprised of educators from around the state of Minnesota.

  • 6/1/15