Curriculum shifting towards geospatial technologies
An interactive geospatial project has been accepted by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority as a senior piece of assessment.
Brett Dascombe, a geography high school teacher of more than 20 years and Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority marker, said that Queensland is at the forefront of this shift in curriculum towards a more atypical, yet essential, way of teaching.
The implementation of geospatial technology in Dascombe’s classroom at Wavell State High School on Brisbane’s northside has proven to be a great success, not only improving his students’ academic performance, but also the way in which they behave in a classroom environment.
“Utilising geospatial technologies in these classes has improved behaviour management, problem solving, student collaboration and results,” Dascombe said.
“Teaching with any geospatial technology comes with roadblocks, workarounds and problem-solving challenges.
“Students continue to develop a range of skills in class when using industry-standard geospatial technologies. We have had great success in engaging students and improving their skills.”
Students have been given the opportunity to take part in valuable learning opportunities due to Wavell State High School’s collaboration with She Maps, a national education provider working with schools, teachers and parents to promote drone and geospatial skills development and career awareness programs.
Dascombe was first introduced to She Maps via its Lighthouse School program, a progressive school-industry education initiative, funded by Queensland organisation The Surveyors’ Trust.
“She Maps is supportive, knowledgeable and helpful in understanding the roadblocks and workarounds required when working in the educational sector. They use the curriculum as their guide to creating valuable teaching resources,” Dascombe said.
By adopting drone technology and the She Maps program into Wavell State High School, Dascombe has been able to provide his students with education and career opportunities suitable for the future, as well as an understanding of their real-world applications, thus broadening the pathways available.
“Students understand that learning to use geospatial technologies in the classroom provides them with opportunities to utilise these skills in tertiary and workforce settings moving forward,” he said.
“Students who have developed geospatial skills in my classes have gone on to study environmental engineering, science, urban and transport planning, epidemiology, environmental science and health, to name but a few.
“Drones are just one of the tools that are now being used in construction and mining, and across a range of environmental management careers.
“The opportunities are endless for geospatial skills out in the workforce, and there is currently a workforce shortage in the geospatial industry.
“One of our students received an internship straight out of high school with ESRI Australia before moving to Melbourne to study.”
The NSW Digital Skills and Workforce Compact was recently launched by the NSW Government.
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