Some thoughts on the Teacher Training discussion in Como Conference. Please allow me to take it step by step
GENERAL ISSUES • 'Schools' mean children and youth aged 2-19 • We prefer to talk about open science, resources and education rather than focus strictly on FOSS4G - more appropriate approach for school education • Short survey/questionnaire need to be taken among existing labs to find out who's interested in school education (initial inventory of people interested in a topic) • All educational materials dedicated for teachers will be gathered in general repository but flagged somehow to make them visible (relation to general talk about changes in repository)
o This is a holistic approach. We have to be careful because that means nursery, primary, lower secondary and higher secondary schools. And also teachers with different background, different curricula and students who focus on different interests. o This is a nice suggestion. It is better to go from wide to narrow o I don’t understand to whom the questionnaire will be addressed: to the Lab staff or to the teachers? o We have to think carefully about the organization of the materials. First of all, we have to decide to whom the materials will be addressed to: to the teachers or to the students? I think that we want to have materials for the teachers which can be used with the students. Thus, we have to train the teachers who will train their students. This is why we need different materials for the teachers of primary schools and secondary schools. In the first case, a primary school teacher may teach geography, maths, history, religion etc, while in the second case they teach more specific disciplines like science or maths, or language. For this reason I suggest that we separate the type of materials into the different levels of education. Do materials for the primary school, for the lower secondary and for the higher secondary. Thus, the Labs should assign this to staff who knows the curriculum of each of these levels. Another question is the software. The software is not appropriate for primary school teachers and students. I think that we should be able to disable some of the capabilities of the software and keep only those which are useful for the level of implementation. Maybe we can have a menu through which we could choose what we need to install.
1. LABS AT SCHOOLS • A Lab can be organized at school (primary or secondary) as long as it fulfills the criteria of the network membership. • We won't put special attention on getting schools involved as labs - in most cases they will be "partners" of existing labs taking advantage of their experience and knowledge.
o There is no need to organize a Lab at school. Teachers prefer to know that they “belong” to something “bigger” than their school. They prefer to have a contact person where they can refer whenever they have a problem. They don’t want more responsibilities than those they have. They want to be members of a team which “belong” to a research institution. So, in my opinion, it is better to have the school and the teacher as partners. o The existing Labs should take into account that they have to do an internal reformation, which is not necessary to be official but it has to exist somehow. I mean that they have to have an education “branch” (at least those who still don’t have) which will be responsible for the promotion of our goals into the education. The big point is to persuade the decision makers that we have an organizational profile and this will strengthen our position. In my opinion, there must be one Lab in each country which will be responsible for the structuring of the operation and the sharing of the responsibilities to the other Labs. If there is only one Lab in the country then it is easier.
2. GEOFORALL THEMATIC GROUP • Wikipage of this group (http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/GeoForAll_TeacherTraining_SchoolEducation) should be updated (Urban Science as an example) - Ela will take care of this. • We need "clean" website (no wikistyle, sorry ;-) as part of GeoForAll main website to "catch" educators - Phil declared to take care of this (in collaboration with Suchith and Jason)
o I agree that we need a “clean” website and presence in facebook and twitter. Many teachers and students have a facebook and/or twitter. I would like to add that each Lab should make a webpage. So, we can have a Central webpage which will share the news (etc.) to all Labs and each Lab has its own webpage, in the local language, for the teachers and students.
3. NEXT STEPS • Connecting with existing education networks i.e. - network of digital-earth.eu Centres of Excellence (http://www.digital-earth-edu.net/) - Nikos Labrinos working with primary teachers as a great example of CoE (Hellenic Centre of Excellence); - School on the Cloud effort (www.schoolonthecloud.eu);
I agree. Me and the Hellenic Centre is at the disposal of the Network
• Creating educator opportunity across the globe at each FOSS4G, ISPRS, ICA events (EU, NA, Asia, SA, etc). - The next FOSS4G NA may occur in Raleigh North Carolina in spring 2016. In this example, we encourage Phillip and Charlie to work with Helena to organize such a training workshop and perhaps other events. - For FOSS4G 2016 Bonn, Ela will organize such an event (dedicated panel session, seperate track (?). We need to begin planning now since these are 6-12 months away now. - Phil's comment: "In order to expand FOSS into K-12 and colleges, we ask local G4A affiliate labs work towards organizing a teacher training workshop during an event near you for teachers & educators from local schools and universities." - need to check if there's any lab in Bonn or Raleigh
Phil’s comment is correct. But there is a problem. It is not easy to decide the venue of the workshop and it doesn’t sound good if you have workshops only where the Lab is located. Many teachers from other places would like to be trained but they can’t afford travelling. So, either we have to organize webinars or we have to travel to different cities to organize workshops. This is a decision to make depending on the infrastructure of the schools and our availability. The problem is mainly on the first year. Then maybe we can use the trained teachers as multipliers to train new teachers.
• Gathering partners around GeoForAll school initiative - companies/private partners such as GISetc (Phil?) - associations such as NCGE in America • Would like to add GeoForAll Global Educator of the Year Award in school category - maybe connect events such as Bonn conference with some competition for teachers (show to transfer your school work from commercial GIS into FOSS4G) + find sponsors to make some group attend the event
Each lab should look for this opportunities in its own local environment. Suchith's comment: "We need to move this locally to benefit local education needs and requirements." I agree to all these. We could say more things but that’s all for the moment. Thank you Nikos