Training Teachers to Use Remote Sensing: The YCHANGE Project


  • Kathrin SCHULMAN FHNW School of Education, SWITZERLAND
  • Stephan FUCHS, Martin HÄMMERLE, Thomas KISSER Heidelberg University of Education (formerly), GERMANY
  • Josef LAŠTOVIČKA Charles University, CZECHIA
  • Nicole NOTTER FHNW School of Education, (formerly) SWITZERLAND
  • Premysl STYCH Charles University, CZECHIA
  • Terje VÄLJATAGA Tallinn University, Tallinn, ESTONIA
  • Alexander SIEGMUND Heidelberg University of Education, Heidelberg, GERMANY


Remote Sensing, Satellite Images, Teacher Training, Secondary School Teachers


Many people use satellite images in their professional and everyday lives, and school curricula often require their use. Yet, the ways teachers actually use satellite images in the classroom is often limited, if they use them at all. The YCHANGE project trained teachers to use remote sensing data by themselves and to use it in their classrooms. The project partners created a remote sensing curriculum which suggests how teachers can develop their students’ skills in this area of geography. This curriculum is based on existing research and school curricula. The project partners created and published sample learning units, and the project webpage also offered the possibility for teachers to publish studentcreated projects. YCHANGE training event participants in Switzerland and Germany filled out an online survey. Most participants said they improved their ability to read satellite images and use them in the classroom. However, participants’ evaluation of the YCHANGE materials and training events was mixed. The study shows some differences among the Swiss language regions, and significant differences between Germany and Switzerland. For example, our training events introduced the participants to the web application BLIF. On average, the German participants liked BLIF, but the participants in Switzerland rated BLIF significantly worse. We therefore recommend that future research compare remote sensing, as well as other areas of geography education, among different countries and language regions.