Monday, 24 January 2011




cjewitt.jpgProject Team
Sara Price,
George Roussos,
Carey Jewitt, Paul Davies , George Sin, Will Farr†

Project Details
Feb - Oct 2011
Funder: JISC

geospatial tools, mobile smart phones, science teacher education

Project website

Project blog


Geographical information systems (GIS) are a set of technology-centred methods used to collect organize, analyse and present spatial data. The development and application of geospatial systems and resources is increasing, as their value beyond geographical disciplines has emerged. However, the integration, adoption and use of GIS technologies in education is limited. In particular, its potential beyond geography learning is not being realized. This project will develop a sensing application (GeoSciTeach) and related visualisation tools using Web 2.0 technologies, to support science trainee teachers, and educators to engage with geospatial systems in their teaching activities, and thereby improve their geo-spatial skills and increase their use of geospatial tools.

Project Aims

GeoSciTeach will contribute to the geospatial strand of the JISC Infrastructure for Education and Research Programme by:

(1) Designing and developing an innovative application using the advanced sensing functionality of modern mobile smart-phones (e.g. light and sound intensity, electromagnetic radiation, acceleration and strength of magnetic field) to collect geo-annotated data in real-time and deposit them in repositories. The design will be tailored to facilitate trainee teachers to develop their geo-spatial skills, and to orchestrate their own science learning activities for learners, supporting innovative science fieldwork.

(2) Designing and developing geo-spatial based science learning activities that can be effectively integrated into the secondary teacher-training curriculum, and be made available as teaching resources. The project will work with an example science learning activity that trainee teachers can use as a basis for designing and structuring a fieldwork-based learning activity using the GeoSciTeach application.

(3) Evaluating the application in supporting teacher trainees' geo-spatial skill development and their ability to integrate geospatial based learning activities into teaching practice.

The project will run for 9 months from 1st February until 31st† October 2011. It will be hosted at the London Knowledge Lab (, a collaboration of social scientists from the Institute of Education (IoE) and computer scientists from Birkbeck (BBK). The project will work closely with stakeholders, including PGCE tutors and trainee teachers from the Institute of Education, London, who will have input into the user and technical requirements of the application. An Advisory group comprising Professor David Lambert (GIS Geography); Ruth Amos (PGCE Science Co-ordinator); Niall Winters (ICT4D); Sally Johnson (Director, Science Learning Centre) and Maria Hogan (Science Museum). The group will provide guidance on user and technical requirements, scenarios, evaluation, longer-term scalability to other institutions and school-based contexts, and likely impact on increasing uptake of the teaching of geo-spatial skills in science teacher training.