About the project
Developing a Blended Competence – Based Framework for Teaching for
Sustainable Development using innovative digital tools and geospatial technologies
The GEO-Academy project, spanning from 2023 to 2026, is an Erasmus+ Teacher Academies initiative aiming at developing a blended competence-based network for teaching sustainable development using innovating digital tools and geospatial technologies. The project will make use of cutting edge geo-technologies (Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Remote Sensing (RS) and Earth Observation (EO), data acquisition and processing, image analysis, and related location-based technologies) as well as state-of-the-art pedagogical frameworks, educational approaches, methodologies and tools. In-service and pre-service teachers will be trained on how to teach the key societal, environmental and economic pillars of Sustainable Development in European classrooms, from upper primary and secondary to higher education level, while supported in developing their own educational material. The GEO-Academy network consists of key partners and experts from complementary backgrounds (geoscientists, environmental and education science experts, research organizations and educational institutions), who will join forces in order to create a sustainable, state-of-the art series of professional learning and development opportunities for teachers.
- Integration of digital skills through the use of geotechnologies into the educational practices. Different GIS topics will function as the bridge for cultivating cross-cutting concepts across different disciplines.
- Utilization of digital opportunities, through the creation and use of innovative GIS, RS, and EO tools, applications and modelling schemes.
- Communication of digital content through digital storytelling serving as a pedagogical tool towards an interdisciplinary teaching and learning environment to inspire and empower teachers to be skilled, trained and open-minded towards Sustainable Development topics and ESD.
- Promotion of teachers’ professional learning and development by offering flexible learning opportunities and training based on state-of-the-art professional development approaches accompanied with teaching material and guidelines for teaching students the importance of acting together as a society towards the SDGs at a socio-economic and environmental level.
- Enhancement of teachers’ competencies by supporting the school community to address the study of phenomena in a holistic point of view using team teaching with different subject teachers.
- Transformation of scientific and research knowledge into educational practices.
- Provision of teachers access to new and innovative teaching tools, as well as scaling up their knowledge on phenomena-, project- and problem-based educational approaches.
- Development of environmental and climate change awareness activities allowing teachers to acquire new key competencies (digital, green, spatial) in order to prepare their students for a career in the geospatial and environmental fields in line with the scope of generating interest in students to follow a STEAM learning path.
- Upgrading of the role of schools as social innovators and active partners in the efforts for social change towards climate change. Schools, teachers and students, as a unity, are seen as green and geo innovators, ambassadors and environmentally aware group of people and active citizens wishing to contribute to their community.
use of digital tools, problem-solving, information and data literacy, communication & collaboration, digital content creation
valuing sustainability, supporting faireness, promoting nature, critical thinking, problem framing and collective action
Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing (RS) and Earth Observation (EO) Geospatial Storytelling
The project’s approach in achieving awareness, behavioral change and pro-environmental action among future citizens is based on the rigorous application of scientific evidence and research outcomes. This knowledge is transformed into concrete educational material that addresses both formal and informal settings, as well as synchronous and asynchronous training specifically tailored to the needs of the trainees.
The project’s strategic lines of action involve: (a) identifying key scientific topics focusing on sustainable development, (b) designing and developing an educational framework fostering teachers’ digital, green and spatial skills, and (c) transforming scientific knowledge into educational material for blended, virtual, or face-to-face training.
The whole process will be supervised and piloted by a cross-disciplinary consortium, composed of experts in the fields of geo-, environmental- and natural sciences, science education researchers, in-service teachers and teacher educators. These will form a community of practice, who will co-design and co-develop the educational materials and training strategies. The scientific, evidence-based approach ensures that the training materials will be both robust and highly effective for the teachers.
Six key geo-topics will be the springboard for achieving the project’s aims, while teachers’ training will be structured around three competence pillars (green, digital competencies and spatial skills), which are deemed necessary for teachers to possess in order to successfully raise their students’ awareness towards Environmental and Sustainable Education.
During the project cycle 7 National Hubs will be formed, constituting the core of the GEOBSERVE platform which host all training modules and geospatial tools and teachers’ forum at national and international level. The GEOBSERVE platform will be one of the project’s principal outcomes, act as the core common hub where all local, national, and project-level outputs will be uploaded and disseminated. All information provided on the platform will be accessible to anyone interested in the project’s findings.
GEO-Academy also includes large scale teacher training courses both in local/national and international level, providing valuable feedback and validation for the project’s outputs and the successful development of the academy.