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Interactive geography lesson via satellite link

23 January 2007

Primary school pupils get to taste the very latest in modern technology when teachers beam a geography lesson via satellite link from a beach in Herne Bay, Kent, into their classroom at Chartham School, Canterbury.

On Tuesday 23rd January at 10.45am leading ICT teachers from around Kent are looking for clues at Herne Bay to find out if the beach has moved and how the pier has changed.

Pupils in Chartham School will interact with the teachers via a webcam beamed from the beach directly into their classroom where they will be able help with the quest and hunt for more clues to solve the geographic mystery.   The teachers and pupils will use the latest GIS (Geographical Information System), digital Ordnance Survey maps and aerial photography provided by Canterbury Christ Church University’s Dakini Project.

The teachers will then return to Chartham Primary School where they and the children will integrate photographs, video and sounds recording collected on the beach to create a series of activities and maps that will be shared with teachers and pupils across Kent.

The Director of Canterbury Christ Church University’s Dakini Project, Jason Sawle, said: “The aim of the interactive geography lesson is to demonstrate how easily GIS, digital photography, video and sound recording can be integrated with traditional fieldwork activities to deliver an inspirational learning experience in the classroom. We hope that the day’s activities will encourage other teachers in Kent to embed ICT in their geography lessons. The GIS software and digital mapping resources used in the event are all available for free to any local authority school in Kent via the Dakini Project.” 

The University is working in collaboration with Dr Gerard O’Sullivan, the project lead (Advanced Skills Teacher and Chartered Geographer at Homewood School, Tenterden) and Philip Bracegirdle, Hands On Support Consultant from ASK (Advisory Service Kent) who lead the teachers in this innovative activity. Kent EIS have provided the mobile satellite wireless broadband unit to allow primary pupils live video access to teachers on the beach.

The extensive technology supporting this ICT and Geography event includes: Digital Worlds GIS; a satellite link from a mobile broadband unit to enable the teachers to study the digital maps using personal digital assistants (PDAs), laptops, Global Positioning System (GPS), which will enable the teachers to plot directly where they are standing and ‘Flashmeeting’ secure videoconferencing software for schools, so that the children can participate in the virtual Geography fieldtrip.

Notes to Editor

If you would like to cover this story please contact Canterbury Christ Church University’s Media Relations Officer, Claire Robinson, on 01227 782391.

If you would like more information about becoming part of Canterbury Christ Church University’s Dakini Project please contact Genevieve Holden through email only: g.r.holden@dakini.eu.com.

Dakini Project

The Dakini Project is a £3.4 million Anglo-French school’s Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and multimedia project funded by the European Regional Development Fund Programme, Interreg IIIa.  The projected is hosted and run by Canterbury Christ Church University in collaboration with the Academie de Rouen in France and is the first project of its kind in the European Union, aiming to give access to GIS, digital data and teaching materials to all schools within the Interreg IIIa region.

Dakini I, the first phase of the project, launched into Kent secondary schools and French secondary schools in Somme, Seine Maritime, Haute Normandie and Pas-de-Calais in 2004.  The schools were given access to local and regional data available on the website from the Dakini Project free of charge.

Dakini II launched into primary schools in Kent in January 2006.  All primary schools now have access to the free resources available from the Dakini Project, including the software and the data available on the website.  After the success in secondary schools, primary schools can prepare children to use the GIS resources for secondary level as it is now run in Key Stages 2-4.  The Dakini Team offer free training and support and will travel to schools to provide training for teachers to get started in using the resources available.

Kent EIS

Kent EIS is a high quality provider of ICT support to schools and community projects.  It offers a full range of services to meet the needs of customers.  EIS has been established for many years and has a strong reputation built on our high level of technical expertise, an understanding of educational needs and independence in the market place.

The aim of EIS is to use ICT effectively whether in the classroom for the curriculum or in the office for management and administration of the school.  As part of Kent County Council supporting the Local Education Authority, EIS offers professional and impartial advice based on many years of experience in the education sector.

Contacts

Claire Robinson, Media Relations Officer,
Canterbury Christ Church University,
01227 782391, cr54@canterbury.ac.uk

David Cutts, External Relations Assistant,
Canterbury Christ Church University,
01227 782826, d.cutts@canterbury.ac.uk

For media enquiries:

Claire Robinson
01227 782391