Well, I wanted to bring you up to speed on my plans (and the plans of over 250 geography teachers from around Australia) for this weekend. On Sunday I will be travelling to Adelaide in preparation for the Australian Geography Teachers Association Conference which kicks off on Monday 10 Jan, 2011.
AGTA (ag, tah) as it is affectionately known and it’s national conference is the biggest gathering of geography teachers in Australia. It is a real opportunity for the people who influence our children’s understanding of geography and location to get together and talk about all things geographic!
This year is an exceptionally important get together with a review of the national curriculum taking place, and a new curriculum expected to be released in 2012. The theme of the conference is “Geography Going National” with a focus on “how to do it in the geography classroom” Take a look at the program
There are some very interesting key note presenters including Dr Rita Gardner CBE, Director of the Royal Geographical Society, UK. So you might be asking, what am I going to be doing there? Well Esri Australia is the platinum sponsor of AGTA. Our GIS in schools program has been running for over 10 years now. Geography and technology, and geography and technology combined aka GIS are becoming more and more important across so many of our daily activities. Location based services, enterprise access to data and all these hot topics that we in the industry regularly talk about have their proverbial seeds planted in school. We all know that our children are more technologically savvy than we are/were when we were that age and it goes far beyond being able to use an iPad.
Supporting GIS in the geography classroom contributes to a) helping our children understand the importance of geography b) gives them the technology angle they want to experiment with c) prepares them for the growing trend taking place, which sees GIS and location intelligence leveraged across so many different industries and functions – sets the foundation for a workforce skill.
So on Monday, along with some of my other Esri Australia colleagues, I hope to get into the nitty gritty of teaching geography to our kids, chat to some geography teachers and learn all about the cool geography teachings that will be going on in the next few years in our schools.
I’ll keep you posted; follow my day at AGTA via the Esri Australia twitter account.
Bye for now