Participation in development of the new National Curriculum
According to the National Curriculum (NC) of Estonia, students must acquire a wide variety of skills in information technology, therefore a list of compulsory ICT based practical works have been added to the geography curriculum.
NC now gives more emphasis to optional subjects. Geoinformatics is one of such elective courses at secondary school level.
In order to graduate from secondary school every student needs to compile a research paper in one subject in addition to state exams.
More emphasis to advanced students
Their special needs being recognized also by the NC. The Gifted and Talented Development Centre at the University of Tartu and Geography Olympiads have been a means to select and involve students.
A centrally hosted web-based school information and management system and supporting activities (e.g. an education portal Koolielu) are assisting teachers, and e-learning platforms (e.g. Moodle) are used by many schools.
Elective course of geoinformatics as a bridge between school and university
In 2011-2013 we had an opportunity to create the whole learning environment (including tutorial exercises, slides, videos, interactive tests and feedback, as well as proper support materials for teachers with lesson plans) for this course.
- learning environment in Moodle (materials, tutorship);
- software in use: QGIS; ArcGIS;
- the course was piloted 2012-2013 both in the school classroom version (3 schools) and in the mode of individual use (16 teachers and 20 students from different schools).
Follow-up schooling for interested teachers on methods of teaching geomedia and GIS
The 2013–2014 session concentrates on:
- how to teach the course of geoinformatics;
- how to apply acquired GIS knowledge to students’ research and
- how to supervise their relevant research papers.
It is funded by The Eduko Development Programme