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Educational advancement of ICT based spatial literacy in europe

  • Description

    Information & Communication Technology (ICT) and spatial literacy are essential in many professional and everyday activities. Spatial literacy, learning about and improving interaction with one's surroundings, is an inherently trans-disciplinary competency transcending from STEM to social sciences and arts. Despite the omnipresence of geospatial and ICT technologies, they are still insufficiently integrated into current teaching practices in secondary schools. The key reason for this discrepancy is the lack of "out-of-the-box" solutions for teachers, which provide an engaging experience to pupils. Furthermore, ICT practices are not sufficiently integrated into standard curricula for secondary schools and into teachers' education.This project establishes a sustainable strategic partnership that aims at integrating ICT and spatial literacy to secondary school education by(i) developing an out-of-the-box toolbox to educate children with better ICT and spatial skills to prepare them for the labour market,(ii) enabling secondary school teachers to teach ICT-based spatial literacy,(iii) integrating ICT-based spatial literacy in school curricula and developing a homogeneous vision of ICT education across all stakeholders(iv) disseminating these results across Europe.Three universities - University of Muenster in Germany, University of Aveiro in Portugal, and University of Jaume I in Spain - form the core of the strategic partnership, accompanied by partners of the educational sector - three secondary schools, four centres for teacher education, and three governmental institutions in all three countries - representing the stakeholders in our project. The associated industry partner Esri acts as technology provider.The strategic partnership will develop a toolbox - consisting of mobile apps, teacher education concepts with teaching materials for secondary school modules and materials for teachers' training. Our principle method is to develop these tools together with the most important stakeholders: teachers and pupils as end-users, educational centres and governmental partners for the didactical and administrative perspective, and academic partners for the scientific perspective. The app "OriGami" trains pupils in spatial orientation and map-reading, while NavApps fosters wayfinding and navigation competencies. Both apps run on smartphones and make extensive use of geospatial technologies. Through gamification and collaboration we engage pupils and motivate them to play our educative games not only in class, but also with friends in their leisure time. As teachers' lack of IT experience is often the bottleneck to use ICT in classrooms, it is important to include their perspective and take teacher education into account. Together with the teachers from the associated schools, we develop ICT-based concepts and teaching materials for intensive teacher trainings to enable and motivate teachers to include ICT into their class. Finally, we propose recommendations for future national/federal school curricula to governmental decision-makers based on the project experience to ensure integration of geospatial technologies in future curricula in an appropriate and targeted manner.The most important physical result of this project is a virtual platform, which provides access to all components of our toolbox for ICT-based spatial literacy for secondary schools: The mobile apps OriGami and NavApps, concepts and materials for classroom modules, and concepts and materials for teachers' training. The major impact will be children training ICT-based spatial literacy automatically through playing our games. Teachers are supported to use IT tools in class to educate pupils with better spatial and ICT competencies. ICT is an area with great job potential for the future, but Europe is still not educating enough ICT skilled professionals. This project aims to be a role model for spatial and computer literacy education in Europe. The transnational set-up of this strategic partnership and the involvement of stakeholders at all levels enable us to propose policy recommendations, that help moving towards a joint European curricula fostering ICT and spatial competencies.For the dissemination of these outcomes, we establish a virtual platform to access the components of our toolbox free of charge. We provide interactive functionalities for interested teachers exchanging experiences and uploading their own materials for public use also after the end of our project.Implementing innovative techniques and education on the end-users' side (teachers and pupils) is one side of the medal. This has to be accompanied by the administrative side. Therefore, another major impact of the project will be feeding decision-makers in education with recommendations for curricula for secondary schools and for teachers' training, to be implemented by the governmental associated partners of the Consortium.
  • Persons

  • Publications

    • Bartoschek Thomas, Schwering Angela, Li Rui, Münzer Stefan. . ‘Ori-Gami - An App fostering spatial competency development and spatial learning of children.’ Contributed to the 16th AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science, Leuven. [Accepted]
    • Bartoschek Thomas, Schwering Angela, Li Rui.Ori-Gami - Fostering Spatial Competency Development and Learning.’ contributed to the ESRI Education User Conference, San Diego, . [Accepted]