At GCSE we currently follow the CCEA Syllabus. This requires students, like most geography GCSE syllabuses to have some experience of GIS.
I have put together an activity for pupils using migration data and ESRI’s Arc Explorer Online. This is free and web based. The only requirement is that your computer needs to have the microsoft silverlight plug in installed.
This is the groups first real experience of using GIS, although they have used Google Earth before. The main aim is to get the pupils to have a basic understanding of what a GIS is, and to think about different ways of presenting geographical information.
Introductory PowerPoint – What is GIS?
After the basic information on GIS pupils work through a series of activities. The first looking at Geographical Information presented in a spreadsheet and graph, then looking at a GIS.
The activity can be found on ArcGIS Explorer here .
Worksheets / Instructions for Pupils:
This exercise is very much a work in progress; what is above is my initial thoughts.
Some of the slides for the powerpoint have been adapted from Alan Parkinson’s Teach Share on Free GIS; more information here; other materials have been adapted from the EUROGEO iGUESS course I attended in May, http://www.eurogeography.eu/.
Following a tip off from Alan Parkinson (@geoblogs) on his blog Living Geography. I have discovered Triptico; this is a set of class tools for use on a projector or interactive whiteboard.
The majority of tools are available elsewhere in a variety of forms. The benefit of this application is that contains all the tools in a single small application. This solves a problem I tend to have with remembering where all the tools are. Because it is an AdobeAIR application it works equally well on both PCs and MACs.
This product can be freely downloaded from this website: http://www.triptico.co.uk/
Because all the tools are contained within a single application class lists only need to be loaded into the software once. This saves time having to load class lists into multiple applications.
One of the most basic tools is a simple timer. There are a couple of different versions; the increasing circle or a flip timer. What is nice about this application is that it can be used either in full screen or in a smaller mode which can be placed on the screen around other content.
There are also counters to keep score of team activities; you can customise both the number of teams, the team names, and also the colours used to represent each team.
There is also a magnetic board tool which allows either words or pupils names to be moved around on the board by dragging.
There are also random name pickers, matching tools, classification and ordering exercises.
This is a great tool and the price is right (free!). I will definitely be testing this out at the start of the academic year. There is a PDF guide that can be downloaded from the triptico website that explains all the tools in detail.