Smart mapping technology to take STEM education to new heights
By Clarice Africa 13 Jan 2015
State-of-the-art smart mapping technology is being used by students at Kranji Secondary School to pinpoint interesting elements that make Kampong Glam a tourist destination.
The technology from leading geospatial solutions provider Esri Singapore, allows students to not only create and share maps, but also uncover interesting facts and information about Kampong Glam.
Mdm Rosmiliah Kasmin, a senior teacher at Kranji Secondary School, said students were very receptive to their new approach of doing research and fieldwork.
“None of us had prior mapping experience, but we took it in our stride and with the help of Esri Singapore’s team on-site, we eventually learnt how to navigate it on our own,” said Mdm Rosmiliah.
“While using new tools such as Esri Singapore’s ArcGIS Online made the class more engaging, I think the real value we gained is the students’ sense of ownership towards their data and the satisfaction they felt when they saw all their data coming together on a map.
“Students were also able to better appreciate the location aspect of their data.
“They learnt there is a need to understand the physical, demographic and cultural patterns of the area they’re studying in order to effectively analyse relationships and trends.”
In order to carry out an inquiry-based fieldwork on tourism, students were divided into groups and were given mobile devices with the ArcGIS platform.
Students then explored the Kampong Glam conservation area to conduct surveys, collect and geotag data on attractions and establishments in the area, and share the information with their group and the faculty.
Esri Singapore CEO Thomas Pramotedham said geography pervades many aspects of our lives, with most day-to-day decisions concerning the aspect of “where”.
“While maps have been mostly used in subjects like geography, today we have intuitive smart mapping tools that enables us to truly understand the world around us and the issues that matter to our communities,” said Mr Pramotedham.
“By using tools such as ArcGIS online in the classroom, students are able to adopt a spatial thinking mind set allowing them to take learning and problem solving to new directions.
"Apart from facilitating a robust learning environment, the technology also promotes greater interest towards science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and helps students gain analytical skills which are needed to meet the demands of the twenty-first-century workforce.”
Due to the success of their inquiry-based activity, Mdm Rosmiliah said there were plans in place to extend the use of ArcGIS beyond the topic of tourism in geography, to other topics such as weather, climate and plate tectonics.