1. Geospatial technologies and forest as learning environment: example of interdisciplinary lesson for 9th grade

Presenter: Ģirts Burgmanis (Interdisciplinary Center for Educational Innovations, Latvia)

Ģirts Burgmanis defended his PhD thesis in 2013 at the University of Latvia. From 2003 he is working as teacher at school. From 2016 Ģirts is actively involved in development of new curriculum in Latvia within framework of SKOLA 2030. He is responsible for development of learning content of science and geography subjects. At this moment Ģirts work also as an expert in the Interdisciplinary Center for Educational Innovations of University of Latvia.

Description: Forest offers an environment where pupils can enrich their learning experiences and acquire problem-solving skills. The skills to use spatial technologies are included in new curriculum of Latvia developed within the framework of project SKOLA2030. Such skills can be mastered in geography lessons or in interdisciplinary projects. In 2018 after collaboration between experts from the Interdisciplinary Center for Educational Innovations and profesionals from Joint Stock Company „Latvia’s State Forests”, to test options to use spatial technologies in learning process, the interdisciplinary lesson in forest was developed. The lesson was developed as simulation of forester’s daily work, where pupils from grade 9 should carry out research to find out the factors affecting forest productivity. To obtain the spatial data and to orientate themselves within study area pupils used LVM GEO Mobile app along with other tools.

 During the workshop using example of developed interdisciplinary lesson for 9th grade the participants discussed:

  1. How to increase the gains for pupils from active learning in the forest and from using spatial technologies;
  2. How to assess such gains in learning process.

Format: The workshop took place indoors. Participants of workshop worked in groups and using brainstorming method discussed what kind of skills and messages and how should be transferred to pupils through active learning process about the forest. Workshop created an example of the framework of modern interdisciplinary lesson in forest pedagogy.