The project has three main objectives:
- Design and develop an application using the advanced sensing functionality of modern mobile smart-phones (e.g. light and sound intensity, electromagnetic radiation, acceleration and strength of magnetic field) to collect geo-annotated data in real-time and deposit them in repositories such as Share Geo and Open Geo. The application will allow the storage of capture activity data on public GIS repositories and their visualisation through a Web 2.0 mapping mashup. The application will display places and information of scientific interest during the collection process, and will allow annotation of the data with a variety of textual and multimedia content captured by the user through the use of a mapping interface. The design will be tailored to facilitate trainee teachers to develop their geo-spatial skills, and to orchestrate their own science learning activities for learners, supporting innovative science fieldwork. Our intention is that this will serve as a customisable application that can be used in a variety of disciplinary contexts.
- In parallel with the technical development we will design and develop new geo-spatial based teaching resources that can be used with GeoSciTeach. These will be made available for teachers to use in practice, or be integrated into the teacher-training curriculum. The design and structure of an exemplary fieldwork-based science learning activity using the GeoSciTeach application will directly involve science PGCE tutors and trainees. This will enable us to identify the pedagogical goals underlying the learning activity being developed, and ways in which the GeoSciTeach application and interface can be designed to support these.
- Throughout the project we will be evaluating the application with science teacher trainees. We will particularly examine its effectiveness in supporting trainees’ geo-spatial skill development; and the potential of the example science learning activity to work as a springboard for teachers to develop their own learning activities for use in their teaching practice.