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Schools in Singapore adopt smart mapping technology to promote learning

Adrian M. Reodique | May 3, 2016
Aside from geography, the smart mapping technology has also been used in the fields of archaeology, dance, sports, and the arts.

Yishun Secondary School and Tanjong Katong Secondary School have leveraged Geographic Information System (GIS) technology or smart mapping to promote student learning and engagement.

"Singapore's youth is very creative and receptive when it comes to new technologies," said Thomas Pramotedham, CEO of Esri Singapore. "By teaching them how it can applied to their daily lives enables us to not only give them a better understanding of their world, but also help them explore new ways on how they can make our world a better place to live in," he added.

Smart mapping technology has become a significant instrument in teaching and a supplement for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. Through this technology, students taking a spatial problem-solving approach can ask question or identify a problem, merge information from different sources, perform a sequence of spatial operations, and obtain results to help them answer their question or gain new insights.

"Through these powerful developments in education and technology, children are learning to work in teams, work on projects, collaborate, think outside-of-the-box and become creative," said Michael Gould, education manager at Esri Inc. "The ability for a non-traditional learning tool to achieve all that amazes many teachers and even parents," he added.

Students at Tanjong Katong Secondary School has used the smart mapping technology in their enquiry-based exercise to study eight volcanoes around the globe and explored the risks faced in areas with tectonic hazards. Additionally, students sought to understand how the type of lava and volcanic eruptions have affected the shape, size, and formation of volcanoes. The technology enabled students to easily make these comparisons by using dynamic digital maps.

In essence, the analysis derived from the study has allowed the students to draw links and relate it to their previous geography lessons. On the other hand, this technology has enabled teachers to explore more ways to create student-centric experiences in the classroom.

"Such creative applications of smart mapping technology in the classroom only proves that location is a big part of our lives, and having a spatial thinking mindset allows us to stretch our imagination and explore how we can contribute to our community," said Pramotedham.

Aside from geography, the smart mapping technology has also been used in the fields of archaeology, dance, sports, and the arts. For example, the dance routine across space and time can be analysed using this technology. A choreographer can examine any single part of the routine by viewing the configuration as coloured dots on the stage; then the composer can use the actual movement of dancers to create, queue and compose the lighting and music for the performance.


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