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					                          EUROGEO 2004
                          SLOVENIA CONFERENCE
 Oddelek za geografijo
Department of Geography   GeoInformation in the Geography classroom   7th, 8th, 9th May 2004

EUROGEO Conference Abstracts

Jason Sowle (UK): the Dakini Project, an Anglo-French Schools GIS Project

The Dakini Project - A Unique Anglo/French Schools GIS Project Starting with a bold vision and
from the premise that most teachers do not want to be GIS experts, the Dakini team has
endeavoured to overcome the traditional barriers that have stopped GIS from reaching its full
potential as a wonderfully inspiring and motivational teaching tool. The project has been
specifically designed to overcome many of these barriers and through its bi-lingual web server
hosted at CCCUC ( it will provide teachers with easy access to user
friendly GIS software, lesson ideas, training materials, support, virtual tours and a vast array
of high quality GIS ready data.

Karl-Eric Christensen (Denmark): What happens when IT and GIS becomes a tool in
the learning process? How does IT and GIS change our traditional ways of teaching?

Information technology and GIS moving into the classrooms has challenged our traditional
ways of teaching. Our pedagogical approach as well as the curriculum needs to be re-
evaluated. The interaction between teacher and pupils is changing, and we now focus more on
concepts of learning and less on concepts of teaching. To day we ask questions like “How can
we facilitate problem based, active and collaborative learning processes based on the use of
computers as a tool?”

In this context GIS fits in as a wonderful tool. In environmental science GIS enables the pupils
to ask questions explore and analyse geodata and present their results in beautiful maps. With
GIS the pupils are able to handle complex problems and reach conclusions, forming the basis
of political action.

A few examples of pupils’ GIS work will be shown.

Nikos Lambrinos (Greece): GIS and Geographical Visualisation

In order to recognize, distinguish and isolate geographic characteristics on a map, the pupils
and students use abstraction, which is a common way of interpreting a map. Many times,
abstraction is not easy if the characteristics are scattered and, in other cases, due to the way
the human eyes scan the map. This article uses the Greek geomorphological map to show how
difficult is to isolate the mountainous areas from the plains by visual interpretation. It shows
that the impression of Greece being a mountainous country is based on visual interpretation
and not on real data. Real data can be obtained by using cartographic layers produced by a
GIS. The results show that Greece is as mountainous as flat.

Clare Brooks (UK): The YoungNet project: GeoInformation and edutainment

This paper outlines an example of how a geoinformation tool, Euromap, combined within a
virtual learning environment, can support young peoples' engagement and enables them to
have fun whilst they work. The Euromap game was part of the edutainment component of the
YoungNet project, and as such played an important role in engaging students with the system
and with developing their use of the system in their leisure time. This paper describes
Euromap and how it fits into the YoungNet concept, and explores geoinformation potential for
edutainment. It will therefore be of interest to geography educators who are interested in the
concept of edutainment, and in young people's acceptance of virtual learning environments.
                          EUROGEO 2004
                          SLOVENIA CONFERENCE
 Oddelek za geografijo
Department of Geography   GeoInformation in the Geography classroom   7th, 8th, 9th May 2004

Alfons Koller (Austria): GeoInformation in Austria and its use in school

Austria’s governmental institutions provide geographical information on the Web.
Topographical maps, aerial photographs, maps of land use are also available free-of-charge, as
calling up geographical co-ordinates, measuring distances and finding locations by address or
name are usual tasks. Pupils can do research on questions concerning their home town, the
surroundings of their school and their way to and from school. . They can go on virtual
excursions through the nearest main town or through the capital Vienna. When they compare
these virtual trips with their mental maps and their experiences during fieldwork they get a
qualified impression of Austria.

1      Austrian Map (free-of-charge) and CD-Rom (€
       published by “Bundesamt für Eich- und Vermessungswesen”, which is the official
       institution for national cartography. On physical maps on a scale of 1: 50.000, 1:
       200.000 or 1: 500.000 pupils and teachers can find a location by name, call up its
       geographical co-ordinates and measure the length of routes. Furthermore the CD-
       ROM version allows measuring areas, drawing vertical profiles and it also allows 3-
       dimensional views of landscapes. The user is able to insert text and images into the
       map, store and load these layers, to save the pupils’ work. These maps are used in
       the local surroundings or to prepare fieldwork and project weeks all over Austria.
       Pupils at secondary levels compare these physical maps with aerial photos and their
       own mental maps.
2      AT-Gis – (free-of-charge)
       Most of the nine federal state governments provide geographical services with
       information on population, landscape, finances and elections for their regions and
       municipalities including aerial photos, physical and street maps, as well as maps of
       land use and regional development planning.
       Pupils can discuss different possibilities of regional planning: Where shall the new
       bypass be built? How does tourism effect the development of landscapes? Where
       shall industry, residential areas and public places be situated? Our pupils discuss
       these topics especially in the 7th and 11th form.
       Virtual flights over the landscape of Austria (free-of-charge) Salzburg:
       Nationalpark Hohe Tauern

       Arranged by the company “Geomotion” in cooperation with governmental and
       academic institutions. In the future schools will be able to use virtual landscapes to
       ask geographical questions and find information on geomorphological issues, land
       use patterns and tourism. The technical requirements has (have) already been
       developed. The data of some regions are available: federal state and city of
       Salzburg, national park Hohe Tauern with the Alpine range of Grossglockner (the
       highest mountain of Austria), the lake district of Salzkammergut. Teachers are
       requested to develop lesson plans and successful examples of practical usage.
6      Hydrological atlas, altas of soil, Ö-Klim - an atlas of climate and publications
7      about demographic data are published digitally by various governmental or semi-
8      governmental institutions in Austria. Most of this information is free of charge or
9      cheaply available for schools. Teachers can use it during their preparatory work and
       in lessons, which are held in computer rooms, or via a beamer projection in the
       standard classroom or, in some schools, on the pupils’ notebooks.
                          EUROGEO 2004
                          SLOVENIA CONFERENCE
 Oddelek za geografijo
Department of Geography   GeoInformation in the Geography classroom   7th, 8th, 9th May 2004

Chris Durbin (UK): Geography and GIS: Getting started with Geographical
Information Systems

Staffordshire Inspector for Geography

GIS software can feel very technical, mathematical and may need to Involve complex
geographical understanding. This lecture will explore ways that pupils aged 9 plus can begin
learning GIS even if they haven't necessarily access to expensive software. The key questions
that will be addressed are:

How can you get started with GIS?
Which GIS partial/simulated websites on the web offer some insight into learning with GIS?
What are the learning advantages with a GIS?
What forms of creative enquiry are possible?

Working with schools in Staffordshire and on the island of Guernsey, Chris Durbin has used Arc
View 3.3, AEGIS 3 as well as a range of websites that allow insight into GIS.

Peter Brøgger Sørensen (Denmark): Eduspace: the European Space Agency

A new website for secondary schools is designed to provide students and teachers of Europe
with a new learning and teaching tool. It offers an entry point to space imagery and Earth
observation applications both for science and day-to-day use. It encourages teachers to use
Earth observation data in their curriculum by providing ready-made projects. The website is
rich in didactical material focusing on remote sensing satellite data both locally (with high-
resolution images) and globally (with low-resolution images) to encourage students to study
features and events in space and time. EDUSPACE combines teaching and learning material
with background material and worksheets to put the student in centre of the learning process.
An image processing tool, LEOWorks, is being made available for data analysis and image
interpretation to both students and experienced teachers.
The website address is:

Gregor Falk (Germany) GIS in the Geography Classroom- Methods, Benefits and

More and more schools in Germany try to implement GIS technology but all in all the number
of schools is relatively small. As striking reasons for the slow proliferation teachers mention the
complexity of the software, missing time and lacking support by external experts. As an
institution involved in the education of Geography teachers, one of our main fields is teaching
teachers and students GIS enabling them to use the technology in their Geography lessons.
Therefore we have a number of partner schools and several running GIS classroom projects.
During the last three years we were able to observe different Geography A-level courses
working with the technology. Our desire to improve the employment of GIS led to numerous
methodological conclusions an further practical teaching attempts. Students, teachers and
scientists have described positive and negative aspects of teaching with GIS. Some of the
methods and experiences collected during the last years will be discussed in the presentation.

One of our Projects in the Internet:
                          EUROGEO 2004
                          SLOVENIA CONFERENCE
 Oddelek za geografijo
Department of Geography   GeoInformation in the Geography classroom   7th, 8th, 9th May 2004

Further Reading:
(2003): GIS in der Unterrichtspraxis: Schüler erkunden Londons Bankside. In: GeoBIT/ GIS.
Heidelberg, 49-52
(2003): Didaktik des computergestützten Lehrens und Lernens. Illustriert an Beispielen aus
der geographieunterrichtlichen Praxis. Berlin
(2004): Das Diercke GIS im projektorientierten Unterricht– Stärken und Schwächen einer
komplexen Geoinformationssoftware. In: Schleicher, Yvonne (Hg.): Computer Internet & Co.
im Erdkundeunterricht. Berlin
(2004): Internetunterstützter Geographieunterricht- Potenziale und Grenzen. In: Geographie
und Schule, H.147, S. 8-15
(2004) zus. mit W. Hoppe: GIS- Ein Gewinn für den Geographieunterricht? Überlegungen zum
Einsatz moderner Geoinformationssysteme im Unterricht. In: Praxis Geographie, H. 2, S. 10-
(2004) mit E. Nöthen: Lärm. Schüler erforschen mit GIS stadtökologische Phänomene. In:
Praxis Geographie, H. 2, S. 35-38

Workshop – Geographical Information: Arc View and Arc Explorer

Geographical Information and Geography teaching – George Dailey (ESRI)

This first session will be a practical hand-on session demonstrating the opportunities for the
use of GIS in the classroom. Delegates will be able to use Arc View and Arc Explorer. Case
Studies and classroom activities will be reviewed and there will be opportunities to explore in
depth the examples available.

The second session will continue the practical hand-on session demonstrating the opportunities
for the use of GIS in the classroom. Delegates will be able to use Arc View and Arc Explorer.
Case Studies and classroom activities will be reviewed and there will be opportunities to
explore in depth the examples available.

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