Our Education team have been running a series of twilight workshops for teachers aimed at showing them how to make the best use of Ordnance Survey’s mapping in the classroom. The most recent sessions have been for teachers in Southampton and Hampshire, but there are plans to take them out across the country if there is enough demand.
With the fourth workshop recently completed, we thought you might like to find out about how geography is taught in schools these days as it’s changed quite a bit from my schooldays when we all pored over (and fought over) a large paper map. A very precious and much revered Ordnance Survey map at 1:25 000 scale showing contours and footpaths was shared amongst a gaggle of teenagers trying hard to identify the map symbols and work out why things were where they were.
The Ordnance Survey Education team have a section of our website designed to be used by children who are interested in learning more about maps and geography.
As well as teaching resources, there are some good geography games and more information about Digimap for Schools which is our online tool offering a wide range of mapping at a range of scale and designed to be used in schools.
So today, because it’s Friday, we are asking ‘are you smarter than a ten year old’? Try today’s geography related crossword and see just how much you know about mapping and the countryside.
Let us know how you get on. If you’ve got the chance, time yourself and let us know how quickly you can do it!
Last week (and over the weekend) our Education team have been manning an exhibition stand at Olympia in London, taking the opportunity to talk to teachers about geography, mapping, GI and our Digimap for Schools application which provides access to a wide range of mapping and tools to pupils in schools across Great Britain.
BETT is the leading event for education technology, giving up to 30,000 visitors the opportunity to try out the technology and bringing together some of the teaching community for four days of discussions and testing!
This year, the show was opened by Michael Gove making an important announcement about ‘radically revamping’ the ICT curriculum which received widespread media coverage so there was a buzz around the exhibition stands as technology development was clearly an important government focus.
We do like a good party here at Ordnance Survey and this week it’s the first birthday of Digimap for Schools. Sadly, there was no birthday cake this time, but there’s plenty to celebrate!
Digimap for Schools is an online mapping tool providing access to Ordnance Survey mapping for the whole of Great Britain at a range of scales. It’s simple to use with a login and password and pupils and teachers pick it up in minutes. Almost 3 000 schools have already subscribed and are making use of Ordnance Survey mapping across the curriculum.
To celebrate it’s first year, we’ve made a short film showing Year 5 pupils at St Marks Primary School in Southampton using Digimap for Schools and Geography teacher Mr Beare talking about why it’s so useful in their school.
We were really pleased when Digimap for Schools won Gold in the annual Geographical Association Awards recently. The award was made in recognition of the fact that it represents a major step forward in the way schools can access and use Ordnance Survey maps. The pupil-friendly web service gives access to all the mapping scales that a school needs to teach geography, including providing full access our most detailed mapping of the whole of Great Britain to schools for the first time.
Maps can be used on personal computers and interactive whiteboards and can be printed or saved at A4 or A3 size. All output carries a watermark, the name of the school and copyright information, providing complete assurance to teachers that they are complying with the license terms and conditions.
Digimap for Schools has been developed by EDINA, University of Edinburgh, who are also responsible for mapping services to higher education. EDINA are working closely with the geography teaching community to enhance Digimap for Schools in line with their needs, with the first enhancements due in a few weeks time.
At the start of this autumn term hundreds of schools across Great Britain began the new academic year by signing up to use a new online mapping service designed specifically for the classroom.
With its pupil-friendly interface, and national coverage of digital maps, Digimap for Schools is set to greatly increase the use of Ordnance Survey maps for teaching and learning geography at all levels, as well as supporting other subjects such as history.
Until now, schools have mainly relied upon paper maps for Ordnance Survey map skills work – a mandatory topic in the curriculum. Since 2002 this has been supported by the issue of a free 1:25 000 scale OS Explorer Map to all pupils in Year 7 under the Ordnance Survey Free maps for 11-year-olds scheme. These free maps are being issued for the last time this year because Digimap for Schools will offer schools so much more.