Digital-earth.eu – geo-media in schools
The digital-earth.eu network seeks to provide broad access to resources, promoting innovation and best practice in the implementation of geographic (geo-)media as a digital learning environment for school learning and teaching.
The goal is to raise the profile of learning with Digital Earth tools and resources. The network encourages the sharing of innovative practices, establishes a network of Centres of Excellence and thereby rewards organisations and individuals displaying "excellence".
The digital-earth.eu project meets an obvious need in the education situation in Europe. The use of geospatial technologies and communication media in school education is highly relevant in terms of societal changes and workforce development. Whereas everyday life is increasingly influenced by these media and technologies, school education lags far behind. Linking experts using geo-media offers new insights into the situation in Europe and creates opportunities for innovation and change, fresh initiatives and positive actions.
Four Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are working to achieve the project objectives:
1. data, tools and technologies
2. learning and teaching issues
3. teacher education and training
4. curriculum development.
The products being developed will offer plenty of opportunities to promote and actively disseminate the importance of geographic media for school education and the work of the project.
A European Centre of Excellence has been set up at Z_GIS, University of Salzburg. A Call for Applications to establish a European infrastructure of digital-earth.eu Centres of Excellence has been launched which invites institutions and individuals to apply for accreditation as a digital-earth Centre of Excellence or Expert.
Digital-earth.eu is also active in lobbying politicians and education decision makers and has a strong presence on social media.
Major events and networking are planned and the network continues to expand its membership and influence in different relevant target groups.
Country: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, Other
Coordinator: Salzburg University, Centre of Geoinformatics, www.uni-salzburg.at/zgis
Target groups: college students, education authorities, industry, policy makers, primary school students, researchers, secondary school students, teachers, trainee teachers, university students
Topic: Earth science, Environmental sciences, Geography, Technology, Education
Start year: 2010
End year: 2013
Contact person: Karl Donert, eurogeomail (at) yahoo.co.uk
Through the Special Interest Groups (SIGs), the network is researching the following topics:
• SIG 1: Resources, technologies and geo-information
• SIG 2: Learning and teaching with geo-media and geo-information
• SIG 3: Teacher Education and Training in geo-media
• SIG 4: Curriculum aspects and geo-media
Learning resources and materials are being collected and shared through a geo-service platform offered at the digital-earth.eu website. Metadata and geo-coding is added to the materials produced by European teachers and teacher training institutions. The data and materials can be located through a mapping service and thus be found by geographic search and keyword search. Different layers of information are being created.
A book publication on learning and teaching methodologies is being produced. Theoretical backgrounds and practical examples will provide guidance to those who want to use geo-media in their school teaching.
A report on the situation of teacher education and training for the use of geo-media in school education has been produced. An online survey was conducted in order to find out which media are used in the different European countries. In the report, teacher training and education materials and modules from selected countries are presented.
A series of case studies and guidance booklets are being produced on different relevant topics, such as geo-media in the curriculum, geo-media for IT-teachers, etc.
Learning materials such as geo-data, digital maps or mapping services, lesson plans and learning modules including geo-media are available from the digital-earth.eu geo-service (www.digital-earth.eu > services > geo-service).
The materials and modules are available for different learning levels and age groups. Respective metadata is being added by the producers of the materials; where possible a geographic location shows the area relevant to the topic. Teachers are invited to share their good practices and to get in contact with each other via the online service.
A range of leaflets introduce the project, the use of geo-media in the curriculum, and guidance for IT staff on geo-media.