The Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education offers numerous FREE and low-cost workshop and institute professional development opportunities. They vary in length from day-long during the school year to week-long in the summer and often have CEUs or free graduate credits available to participants. In addition, there are several programs offered by professional organization that we recommend.


GEOGRAPHY, READING & GEOTECHNOLOGY IN THE SOCIAL STUDIES CLASSROOM: an introduction to the inquiry based pedagogy using geotechnologies* (Introductory)
June 15 – 19, 2015 at Macalester College and the LT Media Lab, U of M (St. Paul Campus)
(For middle and high school teachers who are new to teaching geography or have limited experience with geospatial technologies and/or who have not attended one of our previous institutes)

GEOGRAPHY, READING & GEOTECHNOLOGY IN THE SOCIAL STUDIES CLASSROOM: an advanced inquiry based pedagogy using ArcGIS technology* (Advanced)
July 6 – 10, 2015 at Macalester College and the LT Media Lab, U of M (St. Paul Campus)
(For experienced middle and high school teachers)

The two week-long institutes will focus on implementing the Common Core English Language Arts Standards in the Social Sciences with the new Minnesota State Geography requirements. MAGE will also provide extensive training of geospatial technologies in the classroom. The first week, June 15-20, will host both middle and high school teachers who are new to teaching geography or have limited experience with geospatial technologies and/or who have not attended one of our previous institutes. The second week, July 6-10, will be an intensive workshop for experienced middle and high school teachers and will include training in advance geospatial technologies, as well as the WeExplore 2.0 learning environment. Teachers may enroll in either one or both week-long institutes. Over the course of the institutes, participants will learn how best to implement geographic inquiry in their classes and add activities that will support their students’ mastery of the reading and writing skills that are tested on Minnesota’s mandated exams.

– Participants will receive a daily stipend of $30 to cover incidental costs (travel, parking, etc.).
– Lunch is provided for all participants.
– There are a limited number of room and board scholarships for teachers living beyond 50 miles from Macalester College, so apply early.
– Participants seeking graduate credit will be required to develop new curriculum activities during the institutes and implement those activities in the fall of the 2015-2016 school year, participate in one follow-up meeting during a special session organized during GEOFEST Minnesota 2015 and present their work at an in-service collegial meeting. Upon satisfactory completion of all the requirements, participants will earn two semester graduate credits for each week they attend. Macalester will provide full tuition scholarships for participants. In addition, those not seeking graduate credit will earn CEUs for their week-long attendance.

* Funds for this project were provided by a grant from the federal Improving Teacher Quality Program of the No Child Left Behind Act administered by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. The project was financed by $51,977 and $121,115 in nonfederal sources.

June 15 (8:30 a.m.) – 17 (3:00 p.m.), 2015 at Concordia College, Moorhead, MN
(For k-12 social studies and geography teachers)

Workshop Cost: $25 (without housing); $50 (with housing).
For an additional $50, a participant may earn 1 graduate credit (EDUC 600: NDSU). This additional fee will be paid during the institute, directly to NDSU.

Make your way to the Red River Valley of North Dakota/Minnesota this summer to experience firsthand how the misplaced cities of Fargo-Moorhead emerged on a landscape welcoming to agriculture but highly unfriendly to human settlement.

The Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education, in partnership with Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, is offering a workshop opportunity for k-12, Social Studies and Geography teachers to learn more about the geography of the Red River Valley of Minnesota/North Dakota. 21 CEUs/1 graduate credit will be made available to participants.

Participants will learn a brief history of the landscape; explore the role agriculture has played in the development of the region. Field experiences include a Bagg Bonanza Farm excursion and an historic Red River walk. Immerse yourself in a guided tour led by the Fargo downtown planner to see how urban redevelopment and a region’s reinvention has taken shape, while considering Fargo-Moorhead’s future in light of innovation, energy and flood management. Guest presenters from the Clay County Historical Society and Prairie Public Television are also scheduled.

Throughout the workshop, teachers will be given standards-aligned classroom activities, developed by teachers from throughout the area that can be brought back into the classroom for immediate use. Special sessions are included to explore connections to Minnesota’s grade 4, 8 and H.S. Geography Standards and/or North Dakota’s Common Core standards.

On campus housing is single occupancy (guests must bring their own towels/wash cloth). Evening dinners will be on your own. Transportation to Bagg Bonanza Farm is covered, along with two lunches during the workshop (your downtown Fargo lunch will be on your own).

Note: participants are responsible for their travel to and from Concordia, College, Moorhead, MN.

July 14 & 15, 2015 – Waconia, MN
Workshop Cost: $25 (without housing); $50 (with double occupancy housing); $85 (with single occupancy housing)

Join MAGE and other professionals at this two-day workshop that focuses on the development of urbanization within small town America and the struggles of embracing and maintaining their history and traditional agriculture in Minnesota. Participants will learn about the history, geography and agriculture of one of Minnesota’s best kept secrets — Waconia, MN!
Investigate the major changes occurring in rural central Minnesota through the lens of historical geography and current landscape dynamics as we study one of Minnesota’s small towns (and best kept secrets) — Waconia, MN! Join MAGE and other professionals on this two-day workshop that focuses on the challenges facing residents of small towns in America, such as new land uses and growing populations, while at the same time working to embrace and maintain their history and traditional agriculture.

The Waconia area has a robust agricultural industry and wonderful agri-tourism offerings, including award winning vineyards, orchards, farmers markets, CSAs and farm programs. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the areas’ first settler, Andrew Peterson, with a visit to his farm. Peterson’s journey from Sweden to America in 1850 and his life in Minnesota was recorded in a series of daily diaries and ledgers dating from 1850 until a few days prior to his death in 1898. His diaries provided inspiration for Vilhelm Moberg’s novels, The Emigrants, Unto a Good Land, The Settlers, and The Last Letter Home.

Keeping with the theme of agriculture, workshop participants will visit the Waconia Edible Classroom (adjacent to Clearwater Middle School), an outdoor learning space that gives students the opportunity to experience the seed-to-table process through hands on learning. The two-day adventure will conclude at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum with a personal tour provided by Minnesota naturalist and author, Jim Gilbert.

SUMMER GIS WORKSHOP for Middle & High School Teacher
July 20 – 23, 2015
This summer, a four day introductory GIS workshop will be held at Oak Grove Middle School in Bloomington, Minnesota. The workshop features beginning and intermediate training on how to use Esri’s ArcGIS Online software to make a variety of interactive maps. There are 12 positions available for non-Bloomington teachers. For more information contact: Jim Hanson at jimsoli@me.com

(For Social Studies teachers grade 4-12)
JULY 20 – 24, 2015
Macalester College & LT Media Lab, University of MN (St. Paul)
The one week-long institute will focus on using maps in the Library of Congress (LOC) digital archive as primary documents to create inquiry-based lessons and geospatial activities while showcasing them in a new online learning environment from the LTML entitled WeExplore (http://www.we-explore.com). WeExplore allows users to perform research, create media assets and share their projects with other users throughout the world. This approach will enable students to master selected benchmarks in the new Minnesota Graduation Requirements for Social Studies. Teachers of Minnesota and United States Studies are encouraged to apply to learn about the rich collection of maps of Minnesota and the United States in the LOC on-line archive that can be used to enrich the available curriculum for their classes. One of the major interdisciplinary intersections in this institute will be the analysis of maps and urban panoramic views, a reflection of the benchmark now included in the standards specifically focused on the analysis of historic maps as primary documents.

Instruction will be provided on the development of document-based inquiry and geospatial lessons. We will present a series of lessons focused on using maps as primary sources to enable students to meet benchmarks from several grade levels. Teachers will have time to develop their lesson focused on specific benchmarks or testable elements embedded in the standards and share them within WeExplore. There will be established times devoted to tutorials, peer reviews, and discussions of participants’ work. These small group sessions will be organized according to grade level and topics. We will schedule two field trips to the archives of the MHS and the Borchert Map Library and the James Ford Bell Library of the University of Minnesota.

Attention Teachers:
• Daily stipend of $75 to cover incidental costs (travel, parking, etc.)
• Limited lodging stipends for teachers more than 50 miles from Macalester College
• Lunch provided daily
• 50 CEUs – based on map-based lesson and daily attendance

* Funds for this project were provided by a grant from the Library of Congress.


FALL 2015

GEOFEST Minnesota 2015
SAVE THE DATE — Saturday, October 10, 2015