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Monday, September 15, 2008

Image by USGS from HERE.

Some more information on the use of GIS or Geographic Information Systems, which is part of the new KS3 PoS.
As I posted earlier, I spent Friday down in London, considering the sort of questions that teachers might be asking, and where the CfBT / GA / DCSF / QCA project could help...

First of all, how should we interpret what it says in the PoS.
It's clear that students should actually be USING GIS, and that this should be 'throughout' the Key Stage, rather than one view of it so that a 'box can be ticked'...
How can the use of GIS improve the quality of teaching and learning ? (a justification that could perhaps be used in some schools for NOT using GIS...)

We started with Fred Martin, who took us through the current state of play with GIS. These first 3 slides are taken from his presentation with thanks.
We then had David Rayner take us through some of the free online and software options (which are OK to get schools started...)

Ruth Totterdell, who set the scene for the day, also pointed out a few other locations for information on GIS:

The RGS project on GIS provides some useful reading, most of which is on pdf. http://www.rgs.org/OurWork/Schools/Resources/GIS/Getting+started+with+GIS.htm

They also produced a comprehensive comparison table of the software packages.

Also look at the OS web site http://mapzone.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/mapzone/giszone.html.

All schools should also have the Becta booklet on ICT in Secondary geography, which is very useful.

There are a number of places that you can find examples of lesson plans. There are several on Juicy Geography, for example one on Stonehenge using Google Earth. http://www.juicygeography.co.uk/stonehenge.htm

Also check out the amazing website of the Geography department at King Edward VII, Fiveways, Birmingham (Paula Cooper’s school). http://www.ke5ways.bham.sch.uk/kegs/cpd/what_is_gis.htm . It gives some great introductions to GIS as well as some excellent lesson plans.

Most are based on Digital Worlds but there are some that use web based resources, for example census data http://www.ke5ways.bham.sch.uk/kegs/cpd/GIS/lesson_plans/mapping_census_data.pdf

For some useful ideas, try this TEACHERS TV programme as well...

Get in touch if you have GIS related queries...

Thanks to National Subject Lead Ruth Totterdell for much of the information in this blog post.
Thanks to Fred Martin for his insightful summary of "where we are now"
Thanks to National Subject Lead David Rayner for his recap on free and online GIS resources.

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