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Geo-resources for teaching, learning and research 2014

EUROGEO logo

Last year, EUROGEO (the European Association of Geographers) completed 35 years of operation. This is the latest of a series of blog posts celebrating the anniversary of the association by looking back at 2014 from the perspective of the posts in the association monthly newsletter. Subscribe to the EUROGEO newsletter

Geo-ed resources for Teaching, Learning and Research: some highlights from 2014

In this blog some of my favourite resources for teaching and research are highlighted.

2014 saw the arrival of the story map and easy-to-use templates to share data, photos and multimedia through interactive maps. Storymaps help explore information through interacting with content. The ArcGIS Online site provides a vast array of interesting story maps.

Here are some of the story maps as teaching resources shared this year:globalisation graphic

Other ArcGIS Online articles included:

A  number of wonderful Web sites were featured during 2014:scribblemaps

Some great tools were shared:

My favourite video resource of the year was from Gapminder, on why child survival helps stop population growth http://t.co/xTilukgBHv

world-cupOther useful links included learning resources for major sporting events:

Perhaps the most bizarre but fun resource was a video about making a pirate treasure map with Bing http://tinyurl.com/bk7zla4

The full list of publications featured in 2014 EUROGEO Newsletters is available at http://eurogeography.eu/eurogeo-newsletter/news-2014-teaching-resources.html

Subscribe to the EUROGEO newsletter

geoskills, geoskills plus project, geo-jobs, geography

Is Geo- really important?

Is geo- really important?

Why has President Obama put his name behind a $1 billion programme in the US? http://tinyurl.com/nfpb826

Why are there plans to integrate geospatial education in every school in India? Indian National Task force in Geospatial Education

Why is geospatial compulsory in Finnish schools? http://www.oph.fi/english

GeoSlills Plus Project

GeoSlills Plus Project

This post is about the GeoSkills Plus Blog, raising awareness of the education gap between the needs of the European geo-industry and education and training policy and perspectives. In 2011 EUROGEO estimated more than 50,000 geo-jobs remained unfilled across Europe (http://www.abc.es/agencias/noticia.asp?noticia=1300333).

Geo- is not recognised in Europe. The GeoSkills Plus Project tries to make a start on putting that right. It is an ambitious attempt to transfer innovation in geo-vocational training, geo-jobs and geo-skills development from one country (The Netherlands) to others around Europe. It is based on establishing a professional community in the geo-sector – something I have been working on for the past 10 years through innovative projects and networks like HERODOT (http://www.herodot .net) and digital-earth.eu: geo-media for education (http://www.digital-earth.eu).

geography, higher education, learning and teaching, quality

HERODOT network

The GeoSkills Plus Project is a Transfer of Innovation Project funded by the European Commission. The Project has its own GeoSkillsPlus Blog sharing news and ideas on geoskills and geo-jobs. You can register at http://www.geoskillsplus.eu/press/blog.

The challenge is to raise awareness of the importance of the geospatial sector in policy and among decision makers in education and training.  There is a greta need for quality education to feed the rapidly growing geospatial industry sector. Three areas need to be focused on: careers, skills and qualifications. Sign up for the GeoSkills blog and help us on social media to raise awareness of the issue.

So what are GeoSkills? Find out more at http://www.geoskillsplus.eu/press/blog

 

spatial citizenship

Spatial Citizenship

Logo SPACIT

SPACIT project logo

The term “urban jungle” has been used for some time to describe the environment created by the growth and development of our cities, the activities and infrastructures people produce. In the jungle, many youngsters have become dislocated from the environment in which they live, they do not have the skills to properly navigate the jungle or follow the laws of the jungle. I think this is because of the narrow curriculum (dominated by literacy, numeracy …….) delivered in our schools. Youngsters learn from the laws of the street, education has become external/marginal to their world. The Spatial Citizenship Project tries to redress this situation.

Young people need to be helped (through education) to understand, appreciate and relate more closely to the places they live in. We defined this in a recent article as ‘spatial citizenship’, whereby place, space, ownership and responsibility are interconnected. In the article we suggest that education needs to involve much more than classroom abstraction from the real world, it should be connected closely to learning in and about our world. So, all youngsters need a good “geographical” education to provide them with a real sense of place (including their place) in their community.

The availability of location-based technologies and open access to geoinformation affords an excellent opportunity to effectively integrate the real world with geo-media communicated through social networks into school education. It would also help students actively participate in the world they navigate. Yet such geotechnologies are used in less than 1% of schools. The paper and further research goes on to introduce some of the key concepts through which spatial citizenship could be addressed as a core area in the curriculum.

geo-media, spatial citizenship, education, Geography

Using geo-media

Living, surviving and competing in the jungle requires a deep understanding of the jungle! I suggest the riots that took place in London in 2011 (see http://www.theguardian.com/uk/london-riots) were symptomatic of the marginalisation of important curriculum areas in teacher training and in schools, like geographical education. The delivery of Geography lessons by non-specialists, unaware of the importance of the meanings we attach to the places we inhabit and the relationships with the needs of citizens componds the issue. This needs to be addressed.

We need a broad. balanced education not one based almost entirely on literacy, numeracy, technology, SATs and PISA comparisons!! Forthcoming curriculum reforms will be an opportunity to make a difference….. but will the decision makers realise it?

Read more about spatial citizenship at: http://bit.ly/isx3EG