[OSGeo-Edu] Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Training and certification

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Sat Jun 11 13:16:49 PDT 2011

I do believe that we as a community have the potential to 
collaboratively build quality, comprehensive training material, which 
will provide the key backbone required to support comprehensive, 
internationally recognised training.

(I've already mentioned this to the education and discuss email lists, 
as well as a few others).

The idea:
We already collaboratively build the OSGeo-Live DVD by tapping into 
targeted expertise from a wide range of domain experts.
Packagers have written step by step instructions and templates for 
packaging, and tech writers have provided writing instructions and 
documentation templates, which are followed by application developers. 
Once developers have finished, the installers and documents are passed 
back for review.

Why do applications contribute to OSGeo-Live? Because we have built a 
highly valuable marketing pipeline, (including translations, web pages 
and a DVD handed out at conferences and workshops). This pipeline is 
available with a relatively low amount of effort.

We can extend this OSGeo-Live build process to also include the 
development of consistent training documentation.
It requires:
* educators to create writing guidelines and a template on how projects 
should write training material.
* This is to be provided to developers to fill out.
* We then need a technical writer / educator to review all provided 
* All this needs to be coordinated
* And we need supporting wiki style tools and infrastructure to be put 
in place

This is actually very achievable, but is a bit more than a volunteer can 
typically take on as a hobby activity, and so I believe that a key to 
the success is also a funding sponsor.

I have quite a bit more to say on this, but will keep it brief for the 

On 11/06/11 00:13, Phillip Davis wrote:
> Charles, the GeoTech Center will be at FOSS4G this September offering the following workshops:
> 1. FOSS4G for Educators (Monday)
> 2. GTCM Course Development (Tuesday)
> 3. Remote Sensing DACUM (Wednesday-Thursday)
> to promote two goals: a) FOSS4G for higher ed and b) alignment of geospatial industry needs and academic GIS program curriculum.  Our ongoing effort is the help higher education better align with the new Dept. of Labor's Geospaital Technology Competency Model (GTCM).  You can see our work on building SCORM-compliant, GTCM-aligned course packs with curriculum modules here: http://www.geotechcenter.org/Education-Training/GTCM-Faculty-Development-Workshop-Summer-2011.
> In regards to certification, we fully support the GISCI's effort in improve their GISP certification with a competency-based exam, something they've committed to doing last week, over the next three years.  Researchers with GeoTech assisted the GISCI working group that investigated the question over the past 18 months, offering our extensive research into the precise skills required by GIS technicians (and now Remote Sensing Specialist).   You can view this research here: http://www.geotechcenter.org/Resources/Publications.
> Finally, we would like to offer our SCORM-compliant, GTCM-aligned course packs for OSGeo to help us vet and eventually disseminate beginning next May, 2012 when the results of our 2011 workshops have been properly vetted and created.  The Center would offer to sit with yourself and the OSGeo board at the forthcoming FOSS4G to discuss collaboration.
> Phil Davis
> Director and PI
> ________________________________________
> From: edu_discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org [edu_discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Charlie Schweik [cschweik at pubpol.umass.edu]
> Sent: Friday, June 10, 2011 8:31 AM
> To: discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> Cc: OSGeo-edu
> Subject: [OSGeo-Edu] Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Training and certification
> I'm not going to weigh in on the certification question -- I don't
> understand the companies out there doing training and the issues raised
> by Cameron and others. Apologies in advance for a long posting.
> But I find myself puzzling about how this is linked to universities (our
> edu group) and the discussions about more formal relationships with
> universities. I teach in an Environmental Conservation department and
> also in a Public Policy and Administration program. I sometimes have
> undergrad and grad students interested in going beyond the traditional
> "Intro to GIS" course, and would love to be able to somehow offer a more
> advanced course that would utilize open source technologies and
> especially training on web-based GIS (currently we have none in our
> curriculum). Or "enterprise-level" desktop GIS that might be utilized in
> small local government settings (that often do not have GIS because of a
> lack of staffing) -- like small "hilltowns" in Western Massachusetts, or
> local governments in developing world contexts. Right now we offer both
> Intro to GIS courses using ArcGIS and also desktop open source, but we
> don't have the ability to teach the next level -- an enterprise GIS or
> web-based GIS.
> The other thing I am seeing is a movement away from standard lecture
> format to one where the prof might use YouTube videos or other open
> access content outside of class and then use class time to be more
> hands-on. Also there is a push at our university to try and use more
> open access educational material to help reduce the costs of textbooks
> and coursepacks on students.
> This leads me to my questions regarding training and this discussion.
> 1) How can we collectively act and utilize the expertise within OSGeo
> software groups and other affiliates to develop a set of training
> material that could be connected to university classes? Could people on
> this list with expertise develop "modules"? Could we develop,
> collectively, workbooks along with data and exercises that we
> instructors could use? If there are people out there willing to
> contribute to this idea, who are you and what kind of material would you
> be willing to contribute? For example, I would love to get some students
> learning how to use technology like OpenLayers or other web-based GIS
> technologies, but I don't have those skills so would want to offer a
> "group independent study" under my direction, where students could try
> and learn these kinds of technologies on their own and together, under
> my direction and with the support of this OSGeo network.
> 2) Would it be possible to develop a network of classes in affiliated
> institutions that are all teaching the same content in parallel, and
> perhaps all using one Moodle course hosted by OSGeo?  In other words,
> have face-to-face classes running in parallel on several universities
> during the same time frame (e.g., Sept-December or January-May) where
> these classes are meeting face-to-face but then we have the ability to
> tie expertise and he classes together via Moodle or maybe hold some
> webinars by technical experts that all classes in all universities
> (timezones will be an issue here)?
> This would at least work for universities in locations where they have
> decent Internet connection. But the idea might be the start of the
> content for a proposal to educational funding agencies or
> foundations.... and I greatly appreciate the approach Cameron has done
> for the Free DVD in terms of having an editor who coordinates these
> things. Some proposal for funding would need to put forth that model.
> I hope these ideas are helpful and not noise....
> Cheers
> Charlie Schweik
> UMass Amherst
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Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Director
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

Think Globally, Fix Locally
Geospatial Solutions enhanced with Open Standards and Open Source

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