Spatial Technologies and Fieldwork in 
Victorian Curriculum and VCE Geography

Level 9-10 Geographies of Interconnection Fieldwork

Overview

Students from Bayside P-12 College were investigating interconnection at different scales; the main themes being perceptions of interconnection, transportation, trade, and aspects of sustainability and human rights (i.e. multinational companies’ use of low-cost labour in developing countries).

This fieldwork draws on the concept of interconnection linking a local area – part of the Melbourne CBD – with the rest of the world. Students collect evidence in the field of Melbourne’s connections with the rest of the world through foreign ownership of businesses, origins of goods for sale and other visible cultural links. This requires taking geolocated images and making relevant notes for later research and mapping.

For this fieldwork students are working independently in small groups with indirect teacher supervision during data collection.

Students using their personal mobile devices for location data.

Students using their personal mobile devices for location data.

Duration

The task requires 1 pre-fieldwork lesson half a day in the field and 3 post-fieldwork lessons (and homework) to complete tasks.

Curriculum linking

Completion of this fieldwork contributes towards students meeting the following Victorian Curriculum Geography content descriptions:

Geographical Knowledge Strand (Level 9)

  • Perceptions people have of place, and how this influences their connections to different places (VCGGK139)
  • Ways that places and people are interconnected with other places through trade in goods and services, at all scales (VCGGK141)
  • Effects of the production and consumption of goods on places and environments throughout the world and including a country from North-East Asia (VCGGK142)

Geographical Concepts and Skills Strand (Levels 9-10)

Place, space and interconnection sub-strand

  • Identify, analyse and explain significant spatial distributions and patterns and identify and evaluate their implications, over time and at different scales (VCGGC128)
  • Identify, analyse and explain significant interconnections within places and between places over time and at different scales, and evaluate the resulting changes and further consequences (VCGGC129)

Data and information sub-strand

  • Collect and record relevant geographical data and information, using ethical protocols, from reliable and useful primary and secondary sources (VCGGC130)
  • Select, organise and represent data and information in different forms, including by constructing special purpose maps that conform to cartographic conventions, using digital and spatial technologies as appropriate (VCGGC131)
  • Analyse and evaluate data, maps and other geographical information using digital and spatial technologies and Geographical Information Systems as appropriate, to develop identifications, descriptions, explanations and conclusions that use geographical terminology (VCGGC132)

A geolocated camera image showing latitude and longitude data for later reference.

A geolocated camera image showing latitude and longitude data for later reference.

Methodology

Pre-fieldwork (at school)

  • Introduce the fieldwork in the context of the Geographies of Interconnection unit
  • Provide students with the fieldwork details and handouts placing the task in the context of using spatial technologies on their personal mobile devices
  • Assign students to working groups each responsible for a data collection area within the larger study area
  • Students download and familiarise themselves with the required apps including time outside the classroom to try the apps.

Fieldwork

  • Travel to the fieldwork study area starting at a designated meeting point
  • Confirm the return time to the meeting point and other procedures (e.g. student working groups to remain together teacher(s) to have mobile contacts for groups)
  • Reiterate the nature of the tasks to be completed
  • Student working groups disperse to their assigned data collection areas to collect data
  • Teacher(s) move around the study area to observe progress and assist as required
  • Return to the meeting point at the designated time for travel home.

Post-fieldwork (at school)

  • Upload and aggregate field data using Google Docs
  • Share and map the data
  • Undertake analysis of the group-collected data
  • Complete the analysis tasks for submission.

Resources

The Level 9 Class Assignment (PDF) is a research assignment undertaken before the fieldwork, earlier in the unit. The fieldwork tasks elaborate upon this learning.

Fieldwork activities (PDF)

Level 9 Q2 Data record sheet (PDF)

Level 9 Post-fieldwork tasks (PDF)

Work samples

This image was generated in Google Earth using the aggregated and categorised data from all the groups, and formed the basis of the data for analysis.

Bayside Data Map

The linked file is a student response to the post-fieldwork tasks based on analysis of the aggregated class data and further research.

Videos

Interview with Emma, Lachlan and Charlie, three students from Bayside P-12 College, about their fieldwork experience using personal mobile devices with spatial technologies, and follow-up activities in the classroom.

Interview with Ms Effie Hatzikosmidis, Bayside P-12 College Geography Teacher, sharing her thoughts on the use of spatial technologies and student personal mobile devices for fieldwork.

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