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GIS in the CLASSROOM James Harrod, Claire Johnson & Kate Elliott ICT 4 Engagement (CJ) ICT 4 Analysis (KE) ICT 4 Data & interactivity (JH)

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Presentation on theme: "GIS in the CLASSROOM James Harrod, Claire Johnson & Kate Elliott ICT 4 Engagement (CJ) ICT 4 Analysis (KE) ICT 4 Data & interactivity (JH)"— Presentation transcript:

1 GIS in the CLASSROOM James Harrod, Claire Johnson & Kate Elliott ICT 4 Engagement (CJ) ICT 4 Analysis (KE) ICT 4 Data & interactivity (JH)

2 --Claire--

3 How can ICT be used to enhance the teaching of Geography?

4 VELS Level 5: Geography Students recognise that parts of the Earth’s surface can be represented in various ways, at different scales, and from different perspectives on a range of maps, photographs and satellite images. Students investigate environmental issues such as forest use and global warming.

5 VELS Level 5: ICT Students access online interactive e-learning tools to help them to develop knowledge. Students develop their knowledge about the characteristics of data by manipulating various data types, such as text, sound, numbers and images (still and moving).

6 Using ICT to engage with Geography Spatial recognition of geopolitical borders ope-puzzle.html ope-puzzle.html Continents, Countries, Capital Cities, Landmarks Demography

7 Links to Theory Haydn (2011:2) When using ICT in the classroom "the skill of the teacher lies in selecting the best material for use.“ ICT allows for Gardner’s (2004) theory of multiple intelligences as it can incorporate many different types of learning: audio, visual, kinaesthetic etc. Perfect for Engagement Stage of the Learning and Teaching Cycle: excite and motivate students about a given topic.

8 Using ICT to engage with Geography Although geography education is no longer about learning names of places, it's still important for students to have a grasp of location and world regions. Distance and movement are also key geospatial concepts.

9 --Kate-- Distracting gimmicks or learning enhancers? Teachers – you decide!

10 The place of visual content in Geography  Visual modes are central to geographical thinking and representations of data.  Beeland’s research in 10 schools of just under 200 students returned data that students perceived themselves as being more engaged in class when an IWB was used – primarily for the visual stimulus it provided (then auditory, then tactile) which supported engagement and the retention of information. ICT in middle-secondary Geography Producing Overlay Maps Practitioners: (in Beeland n.d). “It contributes to learning because it helps to get students interested, and anything that interests them and keeps their attention helps them learn. It’s also a tool that easily lets students actively participate and gets them involved in the lesson.” ‘The more students are motivated to learn, the more likely it is that they will be successful in their efforts’ “It is especially effective with teaching classes who are working below grade level.” Factors influencing: parent involvement, teacher motivation and skills, effective use of terminology. Attention to: Intended skill / knowledge outcomes & resources available HAND You will need: Ruler Compass Grey and coloured pencils Tracing paper (including spare sheets) A4 white paper for base map ACTIV You will need: Photos from websites Computer with Active Inspire software Disk space to save file onto (ideally copy it to your , too) Scaffolding into how to use the program construct an argument free-hand cartographic skill dev.

11 1: Locate images 2: Capture and adjust images 4: Align and layer images 5: Use the cursor to bring up an action menu, choose the sun icon & adjust transparency 3: Create a new ‘flipchart’ on ActivInspire 6: Analyse images for evidence of spatial change over time to your chosen criteria


13 OUTCOME 2 Consider IWB as a tool (Kennewell (n.d.) Consultative tool Organising tool Facilitating tool Repository - for the IWB, but also students’ own laptops. Upload flipcharts onto intranet.

14 Suitability of method to objective CONCERNBY HANDUSING TECHNOLOGY Time consumption: Think: what is the learning intention/focus? Students need to be able to sketch, use rulers, and apply legends, all in a neat manner More time for higher-order thinking Neatness & Accuracy: Think: is learning to focus on a task for long periods, and accepting imperfections, a good skill to develop? Students who are not used to sketching by hand get irritated by messiness and inaccuracies but work towards overcoming this. Plotting errors can be corrected by selecting ‘undo’ and reattempting the action Intimate (depth) knowledge of a place: Think: is it valuable for students to spend considerable class-time staring at a map of a local environment? Drawing a map from scratch provides students with ample time to absorb minute details attached to place (however, students might trace and therefore just ‘go through the motions’) Spend more time looking and categorising, rather than producing. When deciding, consider what role the overlay map serves in the context of your lesson(s) Has it been included to support the development of… 21 st Century Skills? Geospatial Skills? Personal Development? Civics & Citizenship? Sui (1995)

15 Opportunities & approaches to teaching with ActivInspire /server.php?show=nav What is the LEARNING INTENTION? Flipcharts available in teacher community. Forum for peer question raising and answering also accessible to members. VCAA (2009) ICT for communicating (e.g. forums, panelling, presentations) Locate and present precise information from websites, including general and specialised directories. Use forums and websites to ‘exchange ideas and form considered opinions with others’. ICT for creating Produce products with a ‘sense of purpose’ for the audience** (use authentic data to produce products to base inferences on). Engage in meaningful note-taking and create ‘mashups’ / ‘neo-geographical’ products to gain spatial appreciation of place. Constructivist or Teacher-centred: YOU decide…

16 --James--

17 ‘Gapminder’ Website run by Swedish academic Hans Rosling. Utilises ‘Trendalyser’ software, which uses preloaded historical and statistical data about the development of countries throughout the world. Use an interactive Bubble chart to visually show statistics. By default the interactive graph shows 5 variables: The x and y axis, the size and colour of the bubble and the time.

18 Gapminder Google bought the ‘trendalyser’ software in 2007 with the intention to upscale and make it freely available for public statistics. Provides- Videos, links to newspaper articles and a specific section for teachers, as well as the interactive statistics. Fantastic program for visualising statistics and trends.

19 Gapminder -

20 Gapminder- Why is it valuable? Visualising statistics- often dry and static. Exciting and engaging. Useful, not a gimmick. Adds to the value of the lesson. Can be used for a class/ teacher led discussion, or for individual research.

21 Geography Is a discipline where the critical skills are- Analysis of data- critical and analytical Inference from this data Acknowledgement of patterns. Gapminder provides the statistics and data that can sometimes be difficult to find, and transforms it into an interactive graph.

22 Geography and GIS? Perceptions of Geography? Technology has impacted significantly on the teaching of Geography. GIS has transformed how geographers work. ‘The availability of electronic databases and the means to display data on maps is transforming the discipline and is beginning to have an impact in the schools’. ‘With this new tool, students can engage in serious inquiry about issues of local and global significance using authentic data’. Lemberg, D., & Stoltman, J. P. (1999). Geography teaching and the new technologies: Opportunities and challenges. Boston University Journal of Education, 181(3), 63–76.

23 Conclusion Groundwork/Costs Professional Development Familiarity (‘practise makes perfect’) Have a back-up & a technician available (Mills, n.d.) Software needs to be accessible at home (Mills, n.d.) Conviction – that you will add something to classes through ICT usage An IWB won’t shift the pedagogy in and of itself (still more T/L-centred appropriations of it) Potential Benefits Enhance interactivity through IWB & have resources available on class portal for revision purposes (& for students to catch up when absent) Students re-engage, especially when performing under grade level ‘democratise the classroom’ and ‘learn by doing’ (teachers AND students) Use latest data (internet sourced), create maps using authentic data Students enhance their 21 st Century skill set through group work & presenting, using ICT Before we can teach and students can learn, they need to be engaged. See Smith et al Smith et al (2005, in Kennewell, n.d.) for more details Mills (n.d.)

24 References PROMETHEAN – ACTIVINSPIRE Beeland, W., ‘Student Engagement, Visual Learning and Technology: Can Interactive Whiteboards Help?’, URL: &rep=rep1&type=pdf (last visited 3/11/11) Hennessy, S. et al (2007), ‘Pedagogical Strategies for using the interactive whiteboard to foster learner participation in school science’, Learning, Media & Technology, pp Kennewell, S. (n.d.), ‘Reflections on the interactive whiteboard phenomenon: a synthesis of research from the UK’, Swansea School of Education (Wales), available at: (last visited 6/11/11) Lemberg, D., & Stoltman, J. P. (1999). Geography teaching and the new technologies: Opportunities and challenges. Boston University Journal of Education, 181(3), 63–76. Mills, M (n.d.), ‘Impact of Training on Teachers’ Use of Interactive Whiteboards’, Valdosta State University, available at: (last visited 2/11/11). Now What? Training (2005), ‘So You’ve got an Interactive Whiteboard, Now What?’, Now What? Training, available at: Promethean (2011), ActivLearning, Promethean Inc., available at: (see also “ActivCassroom Training” Tai, B. (1998), Editor’s Review – Power Dynamics in the Classroom, Harvard Education, available at: (last visited 5/1/11)

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