Been reading other JISCgeo sites to see what to do with the potential problem of providing multiple layers for mobile platforms. The general agreement seems to be that whilst OpenLayer is good for high level GIS understanding, it is hard to use. So whilst there is a trade off with GoogleAPI in terms of what can be coded, the UI is the most important factor.
‘Interacting with GeoSpatial Technologies’ by Muki Haklay has led to the conclusion that perhaps much of what we have incorporated into the application still requires higher analytic and inferential skills and less descriptive interaction. The theory on GeoSpatial skills, especially in the area within which we are working – GeoSpatial skills in science teaching – makes for difficult application of theory. Often theory on GIS seems incoherent for our purposes, and the application of GIS to a school-based situation, which is translated into understandable and manageable chunks for teachers, has led to interpretation and discussion as to what constitutes GIS for science itself. We hope science teachers themselves in a series of intended INSETs in the autumn can then in fill what they would actually do with our application, reflecting on their own science teaching and the How Science Works strand of the curriculum.