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U-Spatial is excited to announce the recent launch of the Story Maps Curriculum Portal, a site that provides pedagogical materials for university classes working with Esri Story Maps. This portal is designed to provide tools for both instructors and students who want to work with Story Maps, but who do not have an extensive background in GIS or digital projects more generally. Its resources range from assignment templates, to short how to’s, to exemplary student work.

Over the last few years, there has been an increased interest in Story Maps from instructors and students who would normally never encounter GIS in their disciplines. Since the platform offers a simple and compelling way to engage with spatial thinking, Story Maps has been particularly popular among those seeking to engage in the digital humanities. Yet, many instructors and students alike have remained intimidated by GIS, which has prompted the need for accessible resources to assist with the implementation of Story Maps in the classroom.

This need was addressed by the efforts of a team of researchers and educators from across the University of Minnesota, whose work has culminated in this site. With the assistance of an Academic Innovation Grant from the College of Liberal Arts, this team worked with a variety of instructors to develop resources to enable them to teach with Story Maps. This work has already paid off, with at least 11 courses across CLA running Story Map assignments this Spring semester.

If you or your colleagues are interested in using Story Maps in the classroom, check out or contact U-Spatial to get connected with the Story Maps Team.

The UMN Story Maps Curriculum Team

Sarah Chambers, PhD - CLA Innovation Grant PI, Department of History faculty
Chris Saladin - History PhD student, Graduate Research Assistant
Shana Crosson - Academic Technologist, Liberal Arts Technologies and Innovation Services (LATIS)
Kate Carlson - Spatial Technology Consultant and Training Coordinator, U-Spatial
Melinda Kernik - Spatial Data Analyst and Curator, UMN Libraries
Len Kne - Associate Director, U-Spatial
Ben Wiggins - Program Director, Digital Arts, Sciences, & Humanities (DASH)