Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in K-12

K-12 Esri – State of Minnesota GIS License Agreement

Welcome to the educational portal for information and resources associated with the Esri statewide Geographic Information Systems (GIS) license for the state of Minnesota! This effort is the result of a partnership of organizations and individuals designed to promote geospatial technology education with Minnesota's K-12 educators and non-formal education providers. Through GIS technology, Minnesota youth are using the tools of high-demand careers in the classroom to examine geographic questions, conduct analysis and explore themes. Students are working with data in ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports and charts—applications that are invaluable to their studies in many subject areas, including science, mathematics, career and technical education, social studies, reading, and language arts.

ArcGIS Online

In June 2013, the White House announced the ConnectED Initiative, designed to enrich K-12 education for every student in America. ConnectED empowers teachers with the best technology and the training to make the most of it, and empowers students through individualized learning and rich, digital content.

As part of this initiative Esri is providing ArcGIS Online organizational subscriptions FREE to ALL K-12 schools and districts in the United States. With ArcGIS Online you will be able to create static and interactive maps and be productive right away with ready-to-use content, apps and templates available for the web, smartphone and tablets. Empower your students in the classroom without going to a lab. Students can collect samples and data through various devices in and outside the classroom.

Think “Any device, anytime and anywhere connected!”

To receive a FREE organizational subscription to the full array of ArcGIS Online information, maps and GIS data, have your Technology Coordinator or main contact complete this easy two-part Esri subscription form. For additional technology information pertaining to the ConnectED initiative, visit the White House website. In addition, Esri’s ConnectED website includes information about careers, teacher stories from elementary to AP High school, student videos, resources, case studies and much more.

For free, but limited access, go to

ArcGIS Software (Desktop / Server)

Existing accounts with Esri:

Send your existing Esri account information to This would include your Esri customer number and main contact information. If the account can be linked, you will receive an email. Otherwise a new account will be created with new login information. You will then be able to access My Esri Portal for all your software and license needs.

To create a new account:

Email and you will be invited to join the State of Minnesota ArcGIS software License group. The invitation, through email, will include a link for activation of your account. Once activated you will be able to go to My Esri Portal and download software and license for single or concurrent (multiple/server) applications.

Esri Software Training (Virtual Campus)

As part of the license agreement, participants have access to many of Esri’s Virtual Campus standard training courses. These are primarily technology courses that will teach Esri software. To access available classes, including details about each class, go to and browse training classes. The License agreement doesn’t include instructor-led courses but most others are available. Once you have found a course that you, or your students, would like to take, follow the steps below to get access.

1. Have your Technology Coordinator or main contact send an email to with the course name, number of participants taking the course and the software version (10.0, 10.1). If you already have an Esri Customer number, please include that as well as it will help in setting up the course under your school’s name.

2. MDE’s K-12 GIS coordinator will find the requested class and enter it in a registration page and forward onto Esri.

3. Esri will receive this information and assign course access codes for the number of participants requested. These codes along with the course number will be emailed to the Technology Coordinator.

4. Once the Technology Coordinator receives the email from Esri, go to, login with your account username and password and click on My Training on the right-hand side of the page. Enter your course access code in the box titled “Start a New Web Course”. The course title will display in the Courses in Progress list and you can click on the course title to begin.

If you have questions contact the Minnesota Department of Education GIS Coordinator.