GIS: Training the Trainers

As geography teacher educators, we are all agreed that GIS is an important if not essential area to embrace in initial and continuing geography teacher education. However, knowing how to tackle it is less certain. So, with the support of the OS, the GA is running a project to 'train the trainers' in GIS. In other words, to provide advice, support, and a forum for discussion for geography teacher educators (GTEs) who want to develop GIS for their students and courses.

Ordnance Survey Resources

Ordnance Survey, The Geographical Association and schools' GI software partners are providing a variety of resources to help you deliver GI to your students. Information will be hosted on both the GA and OS websites.

OS Website - GIS for Schools
The Ordnance Survey's GIS for Schools booklet features the latest information on schools GIS software and OS digital map data in PDF format.

GIS Guidance/AEGIS

View the GIS Think Piece for GTEs by Diana Freeman. Diana runs the very successful and popular ‘AEGIS’ software for schools. In this Think Piece she gives advice about GIS more broadly, for geography teacher education. The free AEGIS Viewer is available for download from the Advisory Unit's website. Contact: Diana Freeman for advice about using AEGIS with your students.

Helen Young gives a teacher's perspective of using AEGIS and sees many advantages to it. Download her PowerPoint Presentation Introducing AEGIS 3. You can find out more about AEGIS software, and can access examples of aegis worksheets on the AEGIS 3 website.
Contact: Helen Young


ESRI GIS FAQs. Roy Laming, marketing director for ESRI (UK) and advocate of GIS for learning, looks at some of the most frequently asked questions by universities about ESRI software. Roy helps you discover how you can use the industrial power, ArcView and ArcGIS software, with students at your university.
Contact: Angela Baker

Three of the leading geography teachers developing cutting edge materials and uses of ESRI GIS software for learning with their pupils are Adrian Johnson, Peter O'Connor and Steve Dunn. They are key members of the GA's Spatially Speaking project to develop and share GIS approaches for geography, and can offer support for GIS training with ESRI software.
Contact: Adrian Johnson
Contact: Peter O’Connor
Contact: Steve Dunn

Other GIS Tools

Other GIS tools each with their own strengths for teaching and learning are InfoMapper, run by Charles Worth at Webbased Ltd and Digital Worlds run by Jason Sawle. Both Charles and Jason are keen to work with geography teacher trainers and can arrange free trial periods for their GIS products for university based geography teacher trainers, and for trainee geography teachers in school.
Contact: Charles Worth
Contact: Jason Sawle

The Ordnance Survey is a crucial part of the GIS network as they usually provide much of the data entered into a GIS. They have also developed a free activity based GIS Zone. Darren Bailey of the OS education team can offer support and direction for OS products and data use for GIS in schools and teacher training.

GIS in the Classroom

One approach to developing GIS is to make it the focus of the PGCE geography ICT assignment. An example of one such assignment is the ICT PGCE assignment on the geography course at the IOE, London.

In her PowerPoint Presentation Putting GIS in its Place, Mary Fargher looks at some recent research into GIS in school geography learning and points to the success of the Durham Schools mapping project.
Contact: Mary Fargher

Getting Started with GIS. This website has been developed by Judy Mansell at the RGS for the benefit of teachers and evaluates the usefulness of many sources of advice and information, including GIS classroom exemplars.
Contact: Judy Mansell

Comment on this page

Comments made by GA members appear instantly and don't require security words to be entered - make sure you're logged in! Guest comments will be sent to a moderator for approval.


GA Member

I have worked with many of the fine people listed on this page over the years. I would say that for a geography teacher not to be using GIS and spatial analysis is like a chemistry teacher not using the periodic table of the elements. GIS is one of the fundamental tools to explore content, develop skills, and nurture the geographic perspective. For example, ArcGIS Online, allows you to, with a web browser, add and explore content such as climate zones, ecoregions, landforms, imagery, natural hazards, population, watersheds, and so on, add your own fieldwork or multimedia (photos, sketches, video), save your map to your own account, share those maps with others, and create presentations. The power and ease of tools like this and the web GIS environment remove many of the challenges that GIS in education has faced over the years.


Karen Smith Guest

I have purchaced the GA resource 'GIS Made Easy' by Robert Lang, Editor Alan Parkinson. However, I cannot now acces the link given insode the book to access the linked online resources. Please provide details.
Thank you

GA Member

Hi Karen

If you visit, click the 'GIS Made Easy' button and enter the password in the front cover of the book you should be able to access the resources. Please give us a call on 0114 296 0088 if you're still having trouble.

Best wishes,


Ramen Guest

Nice. I want to be a GA member. Geographic information system, GPS, areal photography - are the words remind me about those days which memory still disturbs me . Really it is a very interesting subject. Thanks -


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