Case Study: Digital Technology in Geography

The use of digital technology in the classroom is becoming a requirement from education authorities across the world and the UK independent sector is no different. ScienceScope has been working with Downside School, an independent school just outside of Bath to help them achieve this goal.

In the school year of 2018-19 Downside had their ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate) inspection. As part of this, the school wanted to show how they are looking to innovate in the area of using digital technology in the classroom.

ScienceScope teamed up with the Geography department at Downside to introduce the IoT@School platform to the school. They undertook an investigation into microclimates around the school. 1st form pupils took portable sensing devices to multiple locations in the school and measured the environment. These devices upload the data from the sensors onto the IoT@School platform for the pupils to analyse.

This investigation was conducted over two lessons; the first for data collection and the second for data analysis. As part of the data collection lesson, the pupils were given a map with 8 locations. Their task was to go to each location and collect environmental data. They were required to stay at each location for 3 to 5 minutes to gather enough data for analysis.

In the data analysis lesson, the pupils viewed their data in the IoT@School exploratory and were asked to make distinctions in the environments between the different locations. The question they were asked was, ‘which location would be most suitable for the Headmaster to grow his tomatoes?’

The overall reaction from both the ISI and the pupils was positive and has been a good stepping stone to improving the use of digital technology at Downside School.