The GeoSciTeach app aims to enable pre-service teachers, and ultimately science teachers in general and their students, to interact with geospatial data in real time. Data gathered harnesses and directs learning toward a final solution to a particular scientific question on-site, or provides students with an array of data points that back in the classroom can be used to construct a solution to a question, while fostering spatial thinking. This is achieved through a variety of customisable components that are available to the teacher:
- a camera that enables a user to take a picture and then plot its location in the world via google maps;
- a video camera for use when objects are too large for a picture;
- a camera overlay option that enables particular silhouettes to be shown against a real object (a leaf, in the example here);
- a ‘measurement data’ section enabling a user to record relevant data or measurements from the immediate environment;
- a QR code reader so that codes dispersed throughout any environment or given to students can be used to access web-based information, text or pictures at any given moment;
- a further information page where they can find links inserted by the teacher to, for example, selected Youtube videos;
- a ‘teacher prompts’ page with information to help students answer a question set by the teacher.
To create a GeoSciTeach activity, teachers employ an application called GeoSciTeacher, which allows them to combine the software components available in a manner that is suitable for their specific class and students and scientific topic.