Platform for projects and activities in the field of children's mobility at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna

Systemcheck – Mobility in urban agglomerations and in the periphery

Systems thinking is a key competence of pupils when they look at the connections between human action and environmental processes. Dealing with topics like climate change, energy, demographic development, urbanisation, urban sprawl and resource use benefits from a systems-based perspective.

Conveying systems thinking already in school is therefore regarded as a key factor for education for sustainable development [1]. The holistic analysis of transport and mobility in urban agglomerations and in the periphery including the consequences offers an especially fascinating field of application, as a direct relation to the pupils’ own experiences and observable occurrences can be established.

In the project Systemcheck an interactive digital learning tool for pupils in grades six and seven is being developed, which can be used in the teaching subject geography and economics, as well as for interdisciplinary topics. The learning tool is based on the web-hosted open source modelling software Insight Maker [2] and can be used both with desktop computers and mobile devices (e.g. tablets, smartphones).

In the process of developing the tool, workshops with pupils and meetings with teachers ensure the consideration of the needs and ideas of the potential users. In the workshops, the use of a collaborative learning approach provides for the activation of the pupils and the development of a sense of ownership for the project outcome.

The developed tool will be hosted on the digital learning platform Eduthek [3] and user feedback will be collected during a participation phase. The final digital learning tool will be freely available on the same platform and future use in the classroom will be spurred by dissemination through scientific channels as well as the professional networks of both the teachers and scientists involved in the project.

[1] e.g. Bollmann-Zuberbühler, 2016