Selected for piloting
EduGIS Academy
Working Group:Science through digital learningCountry:PolandLanguages:English, PolishAge of students (target group/s):13-14, 15-18Links, resources:
Contact person information:UNEP/GRID-Warsaw Centre
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EduGIS Academy was aimed at popularizing use of information and communication technologies (ICT) as well as geoinformation (GIS) in the fields of science and environmental education in junior high schools and high schools in Poland.

The project based on professional experience exchange (meetings, online communication) between Polish and Norwegian educators as use of modern geotechnologies in schools in Norway is widely implemented. Thus, in the frames of the project the EduGIS Working Group was set up. It consisted of teachers, methodological consultants, experts in the field of science teaching, representatives of the Ministry of Education as well as experts in the field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from Poland and Norway. On the other hand, Polish members of EduGIS WG played the role of national and regional ICT/GIS promoters to help other educators from all over Poland to acquire and develop ICT/GIS skills as well as use them in the classroom practice.

By the end of the project more than 100 science educators (geography and biology teachers in particular) were trained by EduGIS WG members. In additional, EduGIS portal with e-learning module was developed. Finally, a guidebook “GIS at schools” was prepared. The guidebook consisted of ready-to-use lesson scenarios with all necessary educational materials (multimedia presentations, worksheets for students, etc.). It contained also the guidelines for geography, biology, nature teachers how to implement ICT/GIS technologies into school practice.Strong points and opportunities:• “Snow-ball” effect implemented for spreading projects effects (WG members training other teachers and methodological consultants who disseminate information on GIS/ICT use in education among their colleagues, etc.)
• The guidebook in PL/ENG with ready-to-use scenarios based on geotechnologies use (map applications, satellite images, GIS software, spatial data, GPS devices, etc.)
• Thematic scope of the lessons based on common, everyday life activities (analyses of flood risk, urban sprawl, biodiversity analyses during field trips, etc.)
• Technology and tools introduced in the project – geotechnologies are widely used by professionals (scientists, engineers, experts, etc.) and this factor can make them interesting for students as well
• Educational materials available online (download possible if whenever needed)
• Free and open EduGIS knowledge base in PL/ENG containing links to (geo)resources/links (additional sources of information for educators and students as well as inspiration for teachers who would like to develop their own lesson scenarios)Limitations:• Teachers need to acquire new knowledge and skills to use GIS in the classroom (for instance by taking part in trainings, workshops, e-learning courses)
• More time is needed for beginning educators to introduce new software, tools and teaching methods based on geoinformation in the classroom (ordinary lessons can be too short)
• Some technical conditions need to be satisfied (good Internet connection, fast computers) to effectively implement GIS in education
• Educational materials developed in the project (for instance EduGIS base knowledge containing information on new GIS software and applications) need to be constantly kept up to date (not finished after EduGIS Academy finalized them)Added value with regards to the 3 topics of the MASS project:WG1 practical examples of ICT/GI tools in science education (GIS at school guidebook); source of inspiration for educational activities and projects (in junior high schools in particular); students can learn how to use professional geotools and applications to solve interdisciplinary problems
WG2 use of geoinformation during lessons supports individual development of new skills and knowledge among students as they are focused on formulating conclusions based on available materials, information and data (from the Internet, by means of GIS applications, etc.)
WG3 visualization of geographical information on digital maps, 3D models as well as practical tasks such as gathering data with GPS devices give a chance to awaken students’ interest and cognitive activities. GIS tools can support students in looking at the same problem taking different perspectives into account – analyze and formulate conclusions (new way of arousing interest in science education).Any prerequisites needed:• Fast Internet connection
• Adequate technical resources (computers, GPS devices, etc.)