I recently had the opportunity to attend a PD session on Spatial Education. Now, if you are anything like me you would be thinking ‘I will have to google that to see what that’s all about’. Within the Brisbane Landcentre I joined with fellow pre-service teachers from a variety of universities to gain an understanding of spatial education, namely Geospatial Education.
The Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) delivered the learning on Geospatial Education. According to the DNRM “Spatial information describes a location, or is information than can be linked to a location. Everything around us has a location and a dimension which can be represented by spatial information”. The PD endeavoured, and rightly delivered a detailed information session on incorporating a geographical inquiry approach into the classroom using ICTs that can enhance teachers and students navigate their way through the Australian Curriculum of Geography .
So, Geospatial simply refers to teachers incorporating 21st Century ICTs that explore mapping and surveying for a variety of geographical inquiries. ICTs such as Google Maps, Null School Earth, Scribble Maps and The Queensland Globe. Image using these resources to engage students in a discussion as to why our transport systems look the way they do on a map of Australia and how these share a direct correlation with the population and infrastructures, such as mines. Or, looking at the global weather in relation to water temperature and currents. Or even, incorporating a unit that explores geography and science to understand how water quality changes from the place of fall, down ranges, into creeks, rivers and finally to the coastal cities and seaways. Students can explore, map, graph and then analyse data on changes to water quality and the environmental, albeit human environmental impacts to the quality. This could fit nicely within the Australian Currciulum (ACARA, 2016) Humanities and Social Sciences / F–6/7 HASS / Year 4 / Inquiry and skills / Researching / ACHASSI075 Content Description: Record, sort and represent data and the location of places and their characteristics in different formats, including simple graphs, tables and maps, using discipline-appropriate conventions.
DNRM update their website every six months and the best part is the spatial education toolkit is delivered by a registered geography teacher, Mr Mick Law. The toolkit is written in such as way as it aligns with each year level from Prep to Grade 12. As a soon to be (gosh, that’s a lovely thought) primary school teacher who will strives to incorporate meaningful ICTs into my classroom that enhance and transform learning I believe these types of resources will aid in this. But how does one determine if ICTs will align with pedagogies.
To be continued…
Department of Natural Resources and Mines,. (2015). Queensland Spatial Educators’ Toolkit: for the Australian Curriculum Geography. Brisbane, Queensland: Department of Natural Resources and Mines.
Draw On Maps and Make Them Easily.. (2016). Scribblemaps.com. Retrieved 21 March 2016, from http://www.scribblemaps.com/
earth :: a global map of wind, weather, and ocean conditions. (2016). Earth.nullschool.net. Retrieved 21 March 2016, from http://earth.nullschool.net/
F–6/7 HASS – The Australian Curriculum v8.1. (2016). ACARA. Retrieved 21 March 2016, from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/humanities-and-social-sciences/hass/curriculum/f-10?y=4&s=inquiry-and-skills&s=H&s=G&s=CNC&s=ENB&layout=1#page=2
Google Maps. (2016). Google Maps. Retrieved 21 March 2016, from https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-27.8303746,153.9249073,8z
Queensland Globe | Queensland Government. (2016). Business.qld.gov.au. Retrieved 21 March 2016, from https://www.business.qld.gov.au/business/support-tools-grants/services/mapping-data-imagery/queensland-globe