GIS in Northern Ireland Secondary Schools: Mapping where we are now

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Abstract

A number of studies suggest that integrating Geographical Information Systems (GIS) into Geography teaching in schools has been and is challenging and it seems that much of the early promise for the technology supporting learning in Geography has not been realised. This paper examines the progress made in Northern Ireland in implementing GIS in secondary schools. The deployment of a centrally procured entry-level GIS, in the context of a programme of centralised provision of ICT services to all schools, is examined and the results of an online survey of 85 Geography teachers provides an insight into how effective that provision has been. This combination of a regional strategy on GIS, curriculum changes and increased access to computers seems to have ensured that GIS is being used in many Geography classrooms. There is evidence that a range of GI Systems are being used in schools and in a number of different ways, but mostly for teacher rather than pupil use at present. Teachers expressed a need for coordinated training, in order to make full use of the hardware and software available.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-56
JournalInternational Research in Geographical and Environmental Education
Volume22
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

Keywords

  • GIS
  • Geography
  • education
  • innovation
  • teaching
  • Geographic Information Systems

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