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Hacking #iste2015: Free ConnectEd & ESRI account and free geography / history lessons

Just dipped my toe in the #iste2015 Expo Hall, talked to a few folks, and got out. You want to be careful about spending too much time in there. It’s too easy getting sucked in to the vendor web.

But I headed in on purpose with a mission to stop by the ESRI booth for a quick chat. Met Tom Barker who had spent some time at the University of Kansas and learned a ton in just a few minutes. So a quick update before I scoot off to browse some poster sessions.

First, if you don’t know that every K-12 teacher in the US can get a free – yup, free – ESRI account, then sit down. You ready?

Every K-12 teacher in the US can get a free – yup, free – ESRI account.

Go to their site and look for the “Request a free school account” button. Click that. Fill in the info. Start enjoying the awesomeness. The awesomeness includes the very cool StoryMaps tool. You can also get an incredible amount of free lessons and instructional materials.

But wait. There’s more. ESRI staff are busy creating some very specific and handy history / geography lessons that they’re posting on a separate site. These are shorter, quick and easy to use, designed for whole group instruction that can be adapted to small group, on any device / platform kind of lessons. Check them out at There’s not a ton of social studies stuff but more are coming by the start of school this fall. You can get a US history sample here.

Yup. Free.

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