Interest in QGIS is growing among high school Geography teachers in southern Africa. Teachers are looking for GIS software that is affordable, easy to use and understand and easy to teach with. They say it’s important to be flexible and creative in the classroom and not be stuck with fixed lesson plans. Hands-on work such as on-screen digitising and map composition is important. Quantum GIS satisfies all these requirements.
Following the recent QGIS workshop in the Western Cape we were invited to present a QGIS workshop at Michaelhouse College in kwaZulu-Natal Province. Twenty-two Geography teachers spent Monday 15th Nov in the Geography computer room learning the basics of QGIS and how it could be used in practical lessons. Bridget Fleming, as a Geography teacher who uses GIS in every lesson, gave an introduction from a teacher’s perspective and gave a background on FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) and its history and principles. Then Gavin Fleming from AfriSpatial and Frank Sokolic from GIS Solutions / EduAction took QGIS through its paces.
Bridget’s tip for teachers who are daunted by technology is: “Just get the kids started and they will teach you the rest!”