Yesterday we ran a webinar on using Digimap for Schools in Primary Schools. The feedback from the session was so positive and encouraging we have decided to post it on our blog, facebook and twitter pages.
The opportunities for using Digimap for Schools in Primary schools are vast, with some many applications across the curriculum! Please have a look at our video of yesterdays session below:
Over the summer we’ve taken the opportunity to update some of the maps used in Digimap for Schools. The Ordnance Survey have been working with their Mastermap collection and had a slight rejig of some of their classifications and added some new data schema’s. (at this stage you can tell I’m not a professional cartographer ;-))
As a result there have been some additional classifications added to their data which allows for better cartographic representation of the data itself (i.e. they can put more information on the maps). To the casual observer who maybe doesn’t have a forensic eye for detail many of these changes may not be glaringly obvious but we have found a few examples of how the data has changed the maps for the better! We found that some of the best examples of this tend to be in the coastal regions and below is an example of a before and after:
As you can see form the top image the area is simply classified as shingle and rock, whereas the image below is much more refined in giving better classification of the areas.
Anyhow this was just a quick update to let you know that some of the maps may have changed slightly (for the better ;-))
Last week I ran a webinar on “Fieldwork and Simple GIS” with Digimap for Schools. During the webinar someone asked if they can upload data from the Survey 123 app into Digimap for Schools. At the time I wasn’t sure (as I’d never used Survey 123) so I asked the person to send me a copy of the data that they got from the app. I’m pleased to say that within a minute I was able to upload their data into Digimap for Schools!
I’ve since had a look at other app’s and the way they deliver their data and the good news is that Digimap fro Schools can easily handle this!
Rather than write loads about how I did it I thought it easier just to do a quick video to show you. (just click on the below to play)
The session below covers some simple concepts that help create a land use map; drawing area’s, using the colour palette to tailor your map, editing areas and text, adding images and also creating map keys. We also do some very simple GIS using postcodes and buffers, and actually delve a little deeper and download some official crime stats and map them in Digimap for Schools. Have a gander below, though you may want to expand the view to full page
Over the Easter period Digimap for Schools made a trip to Sheffield for the GA Conference, which happened to be celebrating their 125th anniversary. The conference itself was fantastic with lots of great ideas and plenty of excellent CPD for teachers and trainee teachers alike.
We had our usual display and demo on the Ordnance Survey stand and it proved to be a busy few days with lots of interest from everyone, though we did find that most of the attendees where well aware of Digimap for Schools and quite avid users:-)
One of the most cited uses of Digimap for Schools was for illustrating the impact of coastal erosion. A few people in particular highlighted Cowden Sands as a great example of displaying the tangible impact of coastal erosion. I thought I would post up a few maps as examples of what is very quickly achievable by pupils.
We have a very useful resource in our Resources centre which highlights the common skills for GCSE Geography which can be developed using Digimap for Schools. The resource was developed by the award winning geographer Alan Parkinson, who delves deep into the new GCSE Geography curriculums and highlights the exact GCSE map skills students need to develop and demonstrate.
Alan highlights the Map Interpretation Skills required in the new specifications and identifies how Digimap for Schools can fulfil them! (We’ll be honest and tell you it doesn’t fulfil them all but it does cover a conservative 85% of the requirements i.e we currently don’t “demonstrate the understanding and construction of cross sections” – unfortunately you’re going to have to dig out the graph paper (or Excel) and do this manually.
Please come along and have a look, its a great way of ensuring that you are getting the most out of Digimap for Schools, and a good reminder of what exactly needs to be covered.
“Mapwork skills continue to be poorly developed. It is not uncommon for students to be unfamiliar with Ordnance Survey maps. Maps are a basic tool of geography but students admit to being uncomfortable reading maps and have little opportunity to use maps in lessons. In far too many schools, map use is limited to specific examination requirements, rather than the progressive development of these specific geographical skills.”
Geography: a fragile environment? Leszek Iwaskow (Teaching Geography Summer 20132)
We have a fantastic resource in our resources centre written by David Gardner from the Ordnance Survey.
It highlights some of the issues around Mapwork and Mapskills in Secondary schools.
Its a fantastic resource at identifying EXACTLY where mapskills are required in the KS3 national curriculum and how best introduce and use them.
The resource allows teachers to plan for progression through years 5,6,7 and 8. There is also an incredible curriculum planner you can download and use to support you curriculum making process.
As we are experiencing one of the heaviest snowfalls in recent memory, many school kids are having their first snow days for a very long time. So why not embrace the novelty and enthusiasm by giving the pupils a snow based mapping activity!
We did a very quick Story Map of our walk around the neighbourhood, talking a few pictures on my phone and adding them to the map… Again you can tailor this to your own requirements.