Education outreach for OSM

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The text below was posted originally to talk-gh (at) openstreetmap.org. However, it's an interesting question in general. If an organisation wanted to do outreach and/or outreach to schools - how would you start?

Let's consider the audience(s):

Educational activities with:

  • A1. Primary school pupils
  • A2. JHS pupils
  • A3. SHS students

These would be morning (school time), or afternoon or maybe weekend activities, directly with children in those schools. It would be a "science fair" model / "enrichment model", where an external organisation (OSM) organises something within a GoG institution (a school). This could also be done for:

  • A4. College students (e.g. in education, but also health, etc)
  • A5. University students (geographical disciplines, health, education, science, etc.)

Professional Development (PD) activities: The latter are bordering on professional development activities, so let's consider those next, first in education:

  • B1. PD activities for education professionals: University (e.g. lecturers in geographical disciplines, health, education, science, etc)
  • B2. PD activities for education professionals: Colleges of Education (e.g. tutors in education, tutors in health)
  • B3. PD activities for education professionals: Teachers (in-service)
  • B4. PD activities for education professionals: Facilitators/NGOs working with teachers or colleges

An important question is whether you would prefer to work with pupils/students (A) or with educators (B). The PD activities for educators (B) have the advantage that whatever you do might scale better, and reach many more teachers/students/pupils. However, it has the disadvantage of what's called "dilution" - you don't know how well it's going to be implemented, so it needs very careful planning.

Moving away from them education field:

  • C1. PD activities for other professionals that might use mapping (e.g. people working in health, people working for NGOs), etc.
  • C2. Activities for the general public (out of interest)

These could all be seen as "outreach" activities: OSM Ghana interacting with other professionals. Looking even more broadly, one might look at how these are balanced with other activities of OSM Ghana, such as

  • recruiting people to contribute to OSM Ghana as an organisation. Especially A4/A5 and perhaps C1/C2 could be very useful in that regard;
  • working with government and non-governmental organisations to promote the release of data.

Some concrete ideas:

  • With A3/SHS, it could be good to partner with other organisations, e.g. with the science centres, and http://www.ghanacodeclub.org/. It's important to get teachers on board, so that ideas can be trialed
  • Working at University/College level (A4/A5) could be very interesting, especially as it may help to build OSM Ghana as an organisations.

Finally, for working in school, curriculum alignment is a good thing, so we could have a look through the primary / JHS / SHS / College curriculum to see where topics could be drawn upon. As a super-tiny example, we made reference to mapping / field papers on p. 116 in one of our PD guides for tutors: http://www.t-tel.org/files/images/Publications%20section/T3%20Talk%20for%20Learning%20-%20PD%20Guide%20for%20Tutors%20-%20v1.01.pdf

There's a picture from field papers, and the text says:

  • Maps and Scales (Social Sciences - FDC 118)
  • Write down ‘Three Things We Know, Three Things We Do not Know’ about map reading.
  • Reference: 2014 DBE Introduction to Foundations of Social Studies, FDC 118, Unit 5, p. 289.