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Live Blogging from the field

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Ernest Cook TrustYesterday Priory Geography got back from the FSC’s Juniper Hall, a residential field centre near Dorking.  The Ernest Cook Trust supported this year’s venture, allowing us to provide bursaries for students.  The Eco Challenge (as it’s become known) is all about getting urban children out into rural areas, using traditional skills and exploring conservation techniques that can be used back home.

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Part of the project involved live logging from the field.  The set up required:

  • 2x 3 3G MiFi hotspots providing access for 5 devices each.  We went for Pay as you Go devices.
  • 4 x iPad 2 with cases
  • A Posterous blog set up (not sure what will happen to this method after the recent acquisition by Twitter)

Very little training needed to take place for pupils.  They mainly found that taking images was their favoured way of communication, although you’ll find some short. reflective posts also.   If you do nothing else with this, I’d urge you to head over to the student’s blog to see their work and possibly leave a comment.

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What were the benefits?

  • Reflections and activities were captured in situ.  Where children we all engaged, teachers captured what they said.  This has created a multi-media diary of the weekend that can be used in the classroom.
  • A wider audience can benefit from the experiences of the small proportion of our Year 8 children that were able to go on the visit.
  • Posterous as a platform (soon to change?) was easy to use in the field, especially to provide  a wide range of posts.  Posts can also be geotagged.

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This technique needs further development for use by GCSE students who will soon be heading down to Hengistbuty Head in Dorest for their Controlled Assessment fieldwork.

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