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Continuing the feedback loop with ArcGIS resources and support

We received some great feedback from the K-12 educators across Canada from a recent survey we conducted in early spring. In this post, find the teachers’ questions and suggestions  and our support recommendations.

In early spring, we sent out a survey to K-12 educators in Canada to learn more about how we can best support them. We also wanted to know how they wanted to be communicated to and what type of information they required to feel confident using ArcGIS in their teaching and for student learning.

Thank you to all the educators who filled out the survey allowing us to gain insightful information on how we can provide them with the best support we can offer.

The information we gained from the survey has been divided into different sections based on a topic.

ArcGIS Online account management 

Some educators find the creation of student accounts to be a barrier to entry and a source of frustration. They want something that will allow them easy access to ArcGIS Online.

We suggest setting up Single Sign On (SSO) at your school board or school. We put together this resource with tips on configuring ArcGIS for use in K-12:

To start the process, we suggest an administrator or person who has the authority to request the software for your school board or school complete the form at

Professional development 

Educators requested more virtual workshops like the Dive into the New Map Viewer webinar.

They also want us to continue our support at conferences. Good news! There will be more webinars, and we’ll be virtually presenting at conferences this summer and the fall. Look out for an upcoming blog post on this.

A dog wearing water goggles is the front cover of the Dive into the New Map Viewer webinar.

Watch the recording of the Dive into the New Map Viewer webinar from last month.


We received the most feedback about support with resources

  • Resources are cumbersome/hard for students to follow 
    We have been creating tutorials with videos to accommodate different types of learners. These include Discover ArcGIS Online, Discover Data, Configure Pop-Ups, ArcGIS Tips and Tricks 6x6, Scene Viewer 6x6
  • French resources 
    Many new resources in French have been created in the last year.
    A story map showing the French resource on Canada’s Federal Elections.
    Find French resources, like this lesson on Federal Elections in Canada.
  • Easily find new lessons and more beginner resources 
    Watch this video on how to access and use the Esri Canada K-12 Resource Finder
  • Create learning pathways that will build skills toward a larger project 
    Enroute with ArcGIS Online – allows students to learn the basics of ArcGIS Online and then
    move towards creating their first ArcGIS StoryMap.
    Fieldwork Learning Path - Learn how to create a fieldwork project using ArcGIS tools (ArcGIS Survey123, ArcGIS Dashboards and ArcGIS StoryMaps) available to K-12 schools across Canada.

How to find Canadian content/data 

Use the Data Exploration tutorial to learn how!
Like the Internet, ArcGIS Online includes a wealth of data and information. Find out how to navigate it to ensure you find relevant, trusted, and accurate data for your activities and projects. Discover tips and tricks for finding trusted data and ways to locate maps and apps in ArcGIS Online.

A story map showing the Data Exploration resource.

ArcGIS Online is a great place to find Canadian and global content.

How to submit/share their student work

Using ArcGIS Online, teachers can create groups to allow for student submission of work.
Go to the ArcGIS Online 6x6 Tips and Tricks Part 5 - Groups: Collaboration section.
The workflow includes:

  • Teacher creates a group that will be used between teacher and the student
  • Teacher invites student to group or ask them to search for group and request access (this depends on the way the group is set up
  • Student shares work to group. Then teacher can review and mark it

How to test student learning 

Test your students’ understanding of the work using ArcGIS Survey123 and ArcGIS StoryMaps. Read this Esri blog post to learn more about how you create a self-test quiz in your story map.

Skills competition support/resources 

Educators who want to give their students a unique experience may want to sign them up for the Skills Ontario GIS competition. This event occurs every spring. Go through the following documents in the Skills Ontario GIS group to prepare your students for next year’s competition.

Connect with the K-12 community in Canada

Sign up for our monthly email list to keep up-to-date with the latest events, resources and read about interesting projects done by teacher champions in Canada. You can also post questions and comments to emails sent.

We want to hear from you. Feel free to contact us at if you have questions or suggestions for resources. Thank you for supporting our work. We will be conducting another survey in 2023.

This post was translated to French and can be viewed here.

About the Author

Angela Alexander is a K-12 Education Specialist in the Esri Canada Education and Research group. She has over 15 years of experience working with educators across Canada. Angela focuses on producing geographic information system (GIS) and curriculum-specific resources, and conducting and creating custom workshops for educators. She manages the GIS Ambassador Program and is the Technical Chair for the annual Skills Ontario GIS competition. Angela also writes monthly posts for the Esri Canada Education and Research blog, highlighting K-12 educators and partners, new ArcGIS resources and GIS-related events.

Profile Photo of Angela Alexander