Web GIS to Learn Geopolitics in Secondary Education: A case study from Spain
Teachers’ increasing use of cloud-based Geographical Information Systems (Web GIS) in an interactive way in Spanish secondary schools highlights the importance of researching the effectiveness of this new approach. This study employs action research qualitative methods, through direct teacher observation, and quantitative methods to analyze student grades following first use of Web GIS. Specifically, the research involved: a) Design: organizing a geopolitics’ lesson plan, with seven tasks, for a sample comprising 92 students at K10 level (15-16 years old); b) Comparison: contrasting the results of a traditional written exam following the use of two technologies (namely, Web GIS and a conventional PowerPoint presentation); c) Data collection: analyzing quantitative data via a descriptive and inference study of grades (involving a geopolitics exam; geography and history final term; Grade Point Average -GPA-; and the average grade of the entire term’s 10 curriculum subjects); d) Direct observation: assessing class interactions in which students are assisted with both tech-nology (Web GIS or PowerPoint) and the clarification of concepts. The results demonstrate that Web GIS is a useful learning tool in geopolitics, with students getting better grades and no significant gender differences. Direct observation confirms how Web GIS technologies engage students; assist ‘ubiquitous learning’ from any place and at any time; improve their understanding of data analysis and spatial concepts; and enhanced digital competencies
The growing utilization of cloud-based Geographical Information Systems (Web GIS) by teachers in Spanish secondary schools, employed interactively, underscores the need to investigate the efficacy of this innovative approach. This research adopts a combination of action research qualitative methods, involving direct teacher observation, and quantitative methods to assess student performance subsequent to the initial implementation of Web GIS. The study entails the following components: a) Design: formulation of a lesson plan on geopolitics with seven tasks for a sample of 92 students at the K10 level (15-16 years old); b) Comparison: evaluation of results from a traditional written exam following the utilization of two technologies (Web GIS and a conventional PowerPoint presentation); c) Data collection: scrutiny of quantitative data through a descriptive and inferential analysis of grades (encompassing a geopolitics exam, geography and history final term, Grade Point Average - GPA - and the average grade of the entire term's 10 curriculum subjects); d) Direct observation: assessment of class interactions wherein students receive assistance using both technologies (Web GIS or PowerPoint) and clarification of concepts. The findings affirm that Web GIS serves as a valuable learning tool in geopolitics, leading to improved grades with no notable gender disparities. Direct observation validates how Web GIS technologies actively engage students, facilitate 'ubiquitous learning' from any location and at any time, enhance their comprehension of data analysis and spatial concepts, and advance digital competencies.
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