The Gisas
Working Group:Science through digital learningCountry:Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Slovenia, SwedenLanguages:Finnish, French, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Slovene, SwedishAge of students (target group/s):13-14, 15-18Links, resources:
Introduction of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to the teaching of geography and environmental sciences in European schools. The partners developed an integrated Web-based learning environment to collect, visualise, manage and share local GIS data on water and river basins. The materials developed were tested and validated in schools in seven European countries (Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Slovenia, Sweden,). The project was funded by the European Commission Minerva action. The GISAS project used the ArcView 8.3. desktop GIS software of the ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute) company.Strong points and opportunities:• The use of ICT and a virtual learning environment allowed the schools to experiment, test and produce new functional, interdisciplinary and pedagogically appropriate teaching methods.
• The project supported the integration of modern information and communication technology (ICT) into secondary education, not only in geography but in other subjects as well.
• The students could learn about the water quality of a certain area and, at the same time, see the landscape image of that area. Such approach enhanced the adoption of a holistic approach to environmental education and supports visual learning experiences.Limitations:Difficulty for being integrated in the school curriculum.
Need for GIS training for teachers.Added value with regards to the 3 topics of the MASS project:Use of typical digital tools (PCs and Internet web sites) but for geosciences, the motivation of students for environmental themes and science and the familiarisation with up-to-date technologies that the digital era offers.Any prerequisites needed:Necessary hardware, software, data and other equipment, such as GPS receivers and digital cameras.