GTAQ Conference 2012 presentation materials

A huge 2012 conference for Contour Education as I’m involved in three of the day’s four workshops! I’ve decided to compile all of my workshop materials here under one post so that those who might have missed out on something can catch up on presentations and relevant resources.

Session 1.1 – Useful Web 2.0 Tools in Secondary Geography

Web 2.0. What is it? How does it work? Will it help my teaching? In a nutshell, this presentation aims to clarify some of the haze around Web 2.0 technologies. Below you will find my PowerPoint presentation for the session.

After viewing the presentation we will look at some of the various tools that may be of use to teachers, all links can be found underneath the presentation.


Social media:

  • Twitter – Think of Twitter as a sieve for resources. Check out this blog post for some ‘getting started’ tips. Follow us here. We’ll take you along slowly – just remember, you don’t have to use/do/act upon every tweet.
  • ScoopIt – Publish and sort information from the web and twitter. Where Twitter lets you filter information from the web, ScoopIt lets you publish or display that data. Check out our Spatial for School topic here.
  • Facebook – You don’t need me to tell you about Facebook! Like Contour Education here, we do post useful stuff!
  • YouTube – Create an account, build your channel, use playlists to organise your (and others’), favourite videos, watch later. Engage, comment, build a community around your videos. Check out our Google Maps for Educators series here.


  • Google Maps – Collaboration and import kml options make Google Maps a useful tool for working on maps collectively and sharing those maps. Check out our Google Maps for Educators YouTube series here.
  • Google Earth – Google Maps on steroids! Look in the Google Earth section of my Simple Spatial workshop booklet for blogs and other sites that can help you get started as well as basic information on how to use Google Earth.
  • TERN – A collaborative research tool going live in October, coordinated here at the University of Queensland. Sharing of government and institutional ecological data for research and public access, download and use.
  • Atlas of Living Australia – More Australian species maps.
  • Map of Life – Global species maps using crowdsourced field data as well as more reliable datasets.


Session 3.2 – Teaching the Geography of Water in the Middle Years (6-9) with Mary Rowland, Department of Natural Resources and Mines

The teaching of water has been given greater emphasis with the Australian Curriculum: Geography highlighting the importance of water in the middle years (year 7 in the draft curriculum). In this session Mary and Mick from the Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) will share some of the DNRM teaching strategies and resources to help geography teachers in the middle years effectively teach about water. A range of resources developed by DNRM will be showcased as well as resources prepared by other agencies to suit students in the middle years. All resources are suitable for use in the Australian Curriculum: Geography draft. Participants will also receive some water education resources to take back to school and access to digital resources.

The Water: Learn it for Life! curriculum resource can be found here. Look under the Geography sub-heading for two resources that are linked to the Australian Curriculum: Geography draft. They will be updated when the final version of the Australian Curriculum: Geography, and another one added over coming weeks (I can get you a draft if you email me).

Information on posters and other resources can be found here.

Given the current stresses on all aspects of the public service, the Water: Learn it for Life! program is under threat. Any advocacy or support for their valuable cause would be most appreciated at this time. As was mentioned in the workshop a number of times, water is precious and it flows (no pun intended) that water education is vital for our ongoing sustainability. Of course, any good geographer will be able to tell you that water consumption is as much a social issue as an environmental or economic one.

Session 4.6 – Spatial Technologies for Primary Teachers

With spatial technologies playing such a significant role in the Australian Curriculum to be released in December 2012 many Primary teachers may be asking themselves about the value of spatial technologies and the resources that are out there for teachers who are new to the technology. As a starting point, have a look at the thoughts of Malcolm McInerney, the President of the Australian Geography Teachers’ Association.

In this session I will show you some of the simple spatial technologies you can use to get started with your students (or fellow staff). All of these materials are available online and at no cost, other than your time!

You will find my presentation below and relevant links for the day underneath that. Enjoy!

WWF Wildfinder – Simple map showing species distribution

National Geographic MapMaker Interactive – A simple online GIS that contains a heap of really nice (and useful) data as well as the ability for students to create (and share) their own maps over a variety of basemaps (National Geographic map, satellite image, terrain image, plain background).

Old Maps Online – A repository of historical maps that uses a map as the main search method. Historical maps can be viewed and downloaded. Plenty more historical maps to come.

ScribbleMaps – Uses Google Maps as a base and allows students to create maps with their own points, lines, shapes, text, images and labels. As a bonus for Education Queensland schools with their restrictive IT policy, you don’t need to sign in so students can use the service easily. You can not save maps though, so your work must be completed in one session. GPS, ESRI shapefiles and Google Earth files can be imported in the (free) Pro version that does require sign in.

Gmaps GIS – ScribbleMaps but with a sign in service that lets you save your maps.

Google Maps – Create and share your own maps. Collaboration and import kml options make Google Maps a useful tool for working on maps collectively and sharing those maps.

Google Earth – Google Maps on steroids. Basic navigation, included data sets and viewing change over time.

I hope you enjoy the day!

Leave a Reply

©2009 - Contour Education