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Adaptation of QGIS tools in high school geography education

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Adaptation of QGIS tools in high school geography education
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Release Date2023

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This study explores the integration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), specifically using QGIS, into high school geography education. Educators recognize the potential of GIS to enhance students' understanding of spatial data, problem-solving abilities, and digital skills, which are crucial for future careers in various fields. However, implementing GIS in classrooms faces several challenges, including the lack of hardware, software, training, support, and time for teachers. To address these challenges, the researchers designed ten QGIS-focused lectures for high school students. They partnered with a South Moravian high school in the Czech Republic and conducted a three-month study involving second and final-year students. The research involved teaching the students, having them complete homework assignments, and testing their knowledge. The study identified three categories of student experiences: those who had no trouble following instructions, those who faced occasional problems, and those who preferred working independently. Despite some technical challenges, most students found the lectures enjoyable and demonstrated a grasp of the program's basics. They also expressed interest in integrating GIS into the geography curriculum and recommended smaller group settings for more effective learning. In summary, this study aimed to facilitate the integration of QGIS into high school geography education by designing lectures and conducting trials with students. Despite technical obstacles, the students showed enthusiasm for GIS, suggesting that with patience, good learning materials, and familiarity with the technology, GIS can become a valuable tool in educational settings.