Redlands, California - All Virginia public school students in grades 6–12 will soon have the opportunity to use geographic information system (GIS) software and extensions. Virginia's statewide license puts ESRI’s ArcView software in the classrooms to help teachers in a wide range of subjects create real-world experiences involving analysis and problem solving.
"There is a lot of excitement about this in our middle and high schools," says George Willcox, state specialist of technology education for the Virginia Department of Education. "Some of our high school agriculture, geography, science, and technology teachers have already begun working with geospatial tools, and we will be running a set of regional weeklong training institutes this summer to get more teachers up to speed. This is powerful technology, and we know there are many opportunities for students with GIS skills."
A statewide license grants Virginia schools ArcView 3.x and ArcView 9.x on an unlimited number of computers. The software may be used for teaching any subject in grades 6-12 in Virginia’s public schools. The Spatial Analyst and 3D Analyst extensions are also part of the statewide license as well as certain ESRI Virtual Campus courses.
Most Virginia community colleges and universities already use GIS technology through the Virginia higher education site license, which includes more than 45 universities and community colleges including Norfolk State University, Radford University, University of Virginia, Eastern Shore Community College, and many others throughout the state. The new statewide license expands GIS technology into grades 6-12 for use in a variety of basic subject matter to find solutions to real-world problems, similar to what the universities are already doing. It also helps address content in the Virginia Standards of Learning and Career and Technical Education essential competencies.
"Schools today are challenged to be both rigorous and relevant up and down the line," says Charlie Fitzpatrick, ESRI K-12 education manager. "Students can use GIS to explore and analyze local, national, and global phenomena. Whether mapping hurricane evacuation plans, analyzing election tendencies across the country, or monitoring environmental conditions around the world, Virginia's students will be able to gain content background while developing critical thinking skills and building important career and technical skills. GIS skills are being sought in an exploding number of jobs, and Virginia’s students are now one step closer to being ready."
For more information on ESRI's education licensing programs, visit www.ESRI.com/K-12 or contact the education team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 1969, ESRI has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, ESRI software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. ESRI applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. ESRI is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at www.ESRI.com.