Saturday, March 17, 2012

A case study of using spatial technology in a primary school

YouTube video of the trial

Go to and listen to Adrian Camac and other Victor Harbor Primary School teachers talk about the Years 2, 5 and 7 Geography trial focussing on inquiry and the use of spatial technology across the school.

It can be done in a primary school!

In the last posting the meaningful use of spatial technology in the classroom was explored. This posting focusses on the work of Victor Harbor Primary School teachers and students in 2011 who participated in a trial of the draft Australian Curriculum: Geography. In a previous posting during September last year I described the anxiety experienced by a group of teachers at Victor Harbor Primary School trying to load and learn the AEJEE program. This is the end result of the trial. The YouTube video is the documentation of this trial. Quite a success story!

Victor Harbor Primary School Australian Curriculum: Geography tial: A trial using Years 2, 5 and 7 of the October 2011 draft AC: Geography curriculum, with a focus on inquiry and the use of spatial technology across the school.

The trial focussed on the following areas relevant to the development of the ACARA Australian Curriculum: Geography curriculum – both areas frequently explored by the Spatialworlds blog:

* The meaningful integration of spatial technology skills for all year levels to enhance spatial thinking.
* The nature and uniqueness of inquiry learning in geography.

The trial used the draft Australian Curriculum: Geography curriculum for Years 2, 5 and 7

The Year 2 curriculum builds on student learning about places in earlier years by exploring people's connections with other places. Students then expand their geographical knowledge by finding out about these other places and using an increasing variety of information sources. Their spatial understanding is extended from reviewing the use of spaces to examining how distance influences the places they go to. The inquiry process continues to be guided and students are introduced to geographical tools and skills that help them answer their questions.

The Year 5 curriculum for geography has a focus on building students' ability to explain their world in a geographic way. It requires increased critical and analytical thinking. Students consider contemporary places and the functions they serve. This builds on their spatial knowledge of Australia in Year 4, by analysing the spatial distribution of human populations and activities, such as retailing and tourism at national and regional levels. The Inquiry and Skills strand builds on students' analytical, decision-making and evaluation skills. They draw conclusions on issues and consider different viewpoints when thinking about what could or should happen in the future. Students reflect on the effectiveness of their inquiry, how their thinking is different to that of others and how it has changed as a result of their learning.

Year 7 Unit: Why People Live where they do?

This unit focuses on investigating the reasons why people decide to live where they do, at a variety of scales and in the context of the environmental, economic, social and other factors that might influence decision making. The ability to choose where to live is not always available to people and it should be recognised that the unequal distributions and concentrations of populations has consequences. There is a specified focus on Australia, Asia and South America at particular points in the unit.

Thanks to the generosity of the Victory Harbor Primary School students and teachers in giving permission for their teaching materials and reflections to be part of this blog. In particular thanks to Adrian Camac, the lead teacher for the trial at Victor Harbor Primary School.

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