Programming on Incorporating Data and Technology into the Classroom

Customize your Program

Join us for the fifth annual Earth Educators' Rendezvous in Nashville, TN! Drawing across the fields of geoscience, environmental science, sustainability education, and more, meeting attendees will have the opportunity to customize their program to learn broadly, focus on a particular issue or challenge, or something in between. Events include interactive workshops, oral and poster sessions, plenary talks and teaching demonstrations (see the Rendezvous program).

Morning workshops and working groups will meet for two or three days. Workshops are interactive, with participants learning from experts and from one another. The extended lunch hour provides a break and an opportunity to network with colleagues. Poster sessions will begin during the lunch hour on two days and the posters will remain available through the close of the day's program, with authors present after afternoon sessions. During the afternoon you can pick from a mix of mini-workshops, round-table discussions and/or contributed talks or teaching demonstrations. Check out the sessions below that focus on increasing diversity and broadening access at the Rendezvous this summer!

See the program
at-a-glance »
Register for the
Rendezvous »

Featured Events

Monday-Wednesday Morning Workshop

Tuesday-Wednesday Afternoon Workshop

  • Data Labs: Using Ocean Observatory Initiative (OOI) Data to Engage Students in Oceanography afternoon two-day workshop. Tue-Wed, 1:30-4:00pm. By application only- apply by March 31.
    Join us for this two-day National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored workshop focused on the integration of Ocean Observing Initiative (OOI) data into undergraduate teaching of introductory oceanography themes and concepts. Harness the constant flow of data streaming in from ocean research arrays to engage students in addressing real world problems and working with data. Participants will explore ways to effectively teach with data, share effective practices, and brainstorm ideas for how to integrate OOI data into introductory oceanography and Earth and environmental science courses. Professors from Community Colleges, Primary Undergraduate Institutions (PUI), and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) who teach introductory courses (100 and 200 level) are especially encouraged to attend.Read more...

Thursday-Friday Morning Workshops

  • Creating and Integrating Meaningful Virtual & Augmented Reality Content for Geoscience Classes morning workshop. Th-F, 8:30-11:30am.
    Learn the tips and tricks needed to create an engaging, story-driven Immersive Virtual Field Experience (IVFE) that can be utilized by all students on nearly any device. Participants will briefly explore the characteristics of an engaging IVFE before spending the majority of the workshop collaboratively planning and creating an IVFE scene using local phenomenon and a variety of free or free-to-try software. Participants should be comfortable using a computer. Read more...
  • Marine Geology Using GEODE morning workshop. Th-F, 8:30-11:30am. By application only- apply by March 31.
    Marine sediments and the geology of the ocean basins are important content topics in all oceanography courses. However these can be "dry" topics to teach, and may be difficult for students to appreciate. This workshop will introduce three resources that use Google Earth and can be used to help instructors and students explore these topics in highly visual and constructive ways. These resources were developed as part of the NSF-funded GEODE project and include a curriculum unit (with instructor guide) on marine sediments, a virtual marine sediment core kit, and a virtual guided tour of the ocean basins. Participants will be introduced to the resources and will also have the opportunity during the workshop to co-develop short exercises to accompany these resources for in-class or lab use. The workshop will be held in a computer lab. Read more...

Afternoon Programming

Monday Events

  • A Beginner's Guide to Creating Short Videos for Geoscience Courses, mini-workshop, 1:30-4:00pm.
    A few years ago, we began creating short instructional videos for an introductory geoscience course. While we had little prior experience in creating videos, previous research provided us with some principles for effective multimedia design. Our videos follow a standard format and feature conversational narration with a mix of concise text, images, demonstrations, and assessments (see Based on our experiences, we will offer some suggestions for instructors who are considering creating their own short videos. We will provide guidance on key steps in the process including identifying learning objectives, writing a script, building a storyboard, and using visuals to illustrate information. We will focus on the use of relatively basic tools for organizing information (PowerPoint), non-professional tools for capturing images (phones, cameras), and introduce participants to software for video editing and production that is relatively straightforward (Camtasia).
  • How to Create your Own Open Educational Resources: Examples from Analytical Methods in Geosciences (AMiGEO), mini-workshop, 1:30-4:00pm.
    This workshop is for anyone interested in learning how to develop and publish open educational resources. Analytical Methods in Geosciences (AMiGEO) is an NSF-funded project to develop undergraduate-level, online, interactive, inquiry-based instructional modules for analytical techniques in the geosciences including: thin sections, petrographic microscopes, SEM/EDS, and Raman/FTIR spectroscopy. Participants will explore and review these existing materials, and will brainstorm ideas for adding to this textbook or creating open resources for their own courses. Workshop leaders will provide tips and guidelines for some technical aspects of creating online content, including creating or modifying diagrams and videos and where to publish content.

Tuesday Events

  • Teaching Geoscience in Laboratory Settings, Roundtable discussion, 3:00-4:15pm.
    The geosciences utilize a wide array of instrumental and analytical tools and technology to identify, quantify and explore Earth materials, and test hypotheses using their physical and chemical properties. The laboratory setting can thus provide a rich environment for student learning. This round table discussion will facilitate conversations about the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind that are particularly pursued and strengthened while teaching in the laboratory setting or with laboratory-derived data. Desired outcomes are the exploration of our shared experiences, as well as an inclusive prospectus of 'analytical thinking,' as steps toward codifying the best practices for achieving learning goals 'in the laboratory.'

Wednesday Events

  • Teaching Computation in the Geosciences Using MATLAB, mini-workshop, 1:30-4:00pm.
    This mini-workshop is for anyone interested in teaching computation: data analysis, algorithm development, or numerical modeling, using the MATLAB programming platform. The workshop will include hands-on exploration of selected examples from a community resource collection as well as discussions of how you can incorporate these teaching activities into your courses, including through the use of notebook-style scripts (Live Scripts) and interactive classrooms.

    Over the past four years, MathWorks and SERC have convened a series of 3-day faculty workshops to explore how to apply MATLAB to strengthening computational skills of undergraduate geoscience majors. This workshop enables us to use the learnings from those workshops to improve our own courses and curriculums. No prior MATLAB or programming experience is required. Access to required software and computers will be provided during the workshop.
  • Poster Session - 4:30-5:45pm.

Thursday Events

  • Earth Observatory for Kids: Communicating Earth Science in a hands-on approach to Our Young Earthlings mini-workshop, 1:30-4:00pm.
    NASA's Earth Observatory, launched a free online publication aimed at communicating real Earth science data to diverse young adults. Publications showcase global issues, increasing young adult's awareness of our Earth and many of the natural (and unnatural) phenomena that are occurring on our planet. Each issue comes with a story focused on real satellite imagery and an activity that can be used in programs, along-side peers, and with parents. Stories are complemented with a different hands-on activity to further engage kids in science and satellite data. DIY Science experiments reinforce the science concepts from the main story and Maker Corner activities connect science with engineering. The Data Viz and Data Investigation themes focus on engaging kids with real satellite data to connect hands-on activities to answering science questions. Our goal is to put the publication in the hands of kids who are interested in current non-fiction about our planet and use hands-on activities to connect science with unifying global issues that affect all humans on Earth. We will showcase some of our favorite activities and discuss methods for using them with kids. Come explore our Earth with us.
    In this session, explore some of the hands-on activities and ask questions as we investigate our Earth from the unique perspective of satellites.
  • Successes and Challenges of Using Social Media in Teaching and Learning mini-workshop, 1:30-4:00pm.
    Our students are increasingly connected and engaged with various social media platforms, e.g., Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. How can we leverage this to build motivation and facilitate learning of earth science concepts? This workshop will explore considerations and approaches for integrating social media into teaching and learning environments. Participants will be introduced to different styles of social media, share resources and examples, and develop strategies for incorporating social media into their own classrooms.

Friday Events

  • Strategies for Using Community Developed Big Data Sets in Teaching Roundtable discussion, 1:30-2:45pm.
    Big data has become ubiquitous in our society and easy to access via the Internet. Many government and non-governmental organizations regularly collect, process, and serve up vast quantities of scientific data to the world. As these data become more available, they can be used to craft activities for students that mirror those being done with these data by the scientists themselves. At the same time they can be used to give students a sense of their place in the larger world by focusing on a particular geographic region, or scientific problem relevant to the students. We will discuss various data sources and approaches to these data that can be used to achieve these kinds of learning goals.
  • Town Hall