Sunday, June 27, 2010
The Spatial Industry link
Left image: National Geographic Channel Australian Geography Competition finals in Foxtel studios, June 2010.
Right image: Timber ready to be loaded at Lyttelton, New Zealand
Related sites to the Spatialworlds project
21st Century Geography Google Group
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
'Towards a National Geography Curriculum' project website
Geography Teachers' Association of South Australia website
Where am I?
Canberra: S: 35º 15' E: 149º 08'
The Spatial Industry and Geography link - an imperative!
I am in Canberra today to attend the Surveying and Spatial Science Institutes (SSSI) Spatial Education Committee (SEAC). I have been a member of SEAC representing the Australian Geography Teacher Association (AGTA) since 2004. The SEAC is a sub –committee of the SSSI and has been established to coordinate and promote spatial education in Australian schools, TAFE and Universities.
The SSSI offers people working across the diverse nature of the surveying and spatial sciences industry a professional home i.e. remote sensing, photogrammetrists, cartographers, GIS technicians/consultants, hydrographic, land or engineering surveyors.
At today’s meeting Mark Sanders from ‘The Learning Federation’(TLF) outlined the TLF’s proposal for the development of a cutdown on-line GIS application. If given the go-ahead the application will be supported with on-line data. Other members of SEAC, PSMA and ANZLIC are interested in participating in the venture and exploring the options of partnership with TLF (now known as Education Services Australia - ESA). A decision on the proposal is expected soon. In the meantime the TLF is ready to launch its ‘Data Visualisation Genie’ on June 30th.
The meeting was also an opportunity for me to present information on the recently released (June 30th) draft Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) shape paper for geography. The paper is open for consultation until August 27th 2010. Naturally we are keen to have the spatial industry involved in the feedback and consultation on the paper to ensure that the curriculum reflects 21st Century technology as represented by the spatial industry and world class spatial analysis as required for the development of high quality spatial literacy in schools. SEAC considers it has a role in informing ACARA of the linkage between its industry and the world of geography in schools. To this end SEAC and it members have promised to provide feedback on the paper and write a letter to ACARA stating the importance of geography to the spatial industry and the need for the teaching of geography to be compulsory to Year 10. In particular SEAC and the bodies involved such as ANZLIC, Skills Councill of Australia and PSMA intend to highlight the shortage of qualified spatial scientists and technicians in Australia. In this fast growing industry there is a crisis in supply which seems to be ignored by the community and the eduction systems. There is an urgent need to develop skills and awareness in schools of the opportunities available in the spatial industry.
I hope this day in Canberra and the support garnered from the spatial industry will inform ACARA of the industrial and employment component of a comprehensive and quality delivery of an Australian curriculum for geography. Most importantly there is a need when one views and analysis the geography shape paper during the consultation period that it is through the lens of the needs of the spatial industry as well as for general educational worth.