Friday, 14 March 2014

Geo: Education

I've talked a lot about the Big 5 themes for 2014 and of course there are other contenders for big issues in geospatial. I wanted to look at one that is not so much an issue for geospatial now as one for how geospatial grows in the future and that is education.

The geospatial industry is continually growing and broadening to the point that many people are using and even producing data and products that they don’t really realises is geospatial. To support this the next generation of geospatially literate employees is needed. Obviously now this has spread beyond the traditional GIS user to a whole range of developers, software engineers and analysts amongst others. However this diversification just means that an introduction to geospatial is needed at a younger age than ever rather than waiting until university when people are already specialising heavily. It would be a shame to lose out on potentially brilliant developers because they have no concept of spatial or how important and powerful it can be.

At the Future Cities event in Scotland we are running a parallel session from students attending some local colleges. They will get a chance to talk to some of the great speakers from our event and get an understanding of the broad importance of geospatial information and future cities specifically. This is being held in collaboration with RSGS who are organising a visit to the University of Glasgow map library in the morning.

This is something the AGI wants to get more involved in (possibly through collaboration with RGS and their geography in schools programme as per this announcement a few days ago). We have recently moved to engage more with university level students through opening up free membership and we will be looking to create resources for students with the new website.

 This is an important issue both for education and the industry, at a later date I hope to have an article from one of our council members who has a particular interest in education. In the meantime however I would love to hear suggestions for how the AGI, industry and indeed government can help usher through the next generation of geospatial innovators. 

1 comment:

  1. STEMNET may be another way to enter the education. This was particularly useful for engineers (ICE worked with STEMNET) to encourage graduates to enter schools or give on-line mentor-ship to schools, particularly secondary schools.

    WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) is also another way of educating those at primary/secondary school. It was my first experience of someone showing me how hydraulic pumps worked and it never really left my side!


    Shaman Durrant