This is the third of eight posts where I discuss some of the things that I talked about at the 2010 Learning and Teaching Scotland Outdoor learning Regional Events
I am a huge advocate for allowing children to use mobile phones in the classroom as long as they use them responsibly and that the school / teacher has some sort of technology policy. If your interested in this particular area then you might also be interested in the Times Educational Supplement magazine article that I was heavily quoted in “Mobile Phones Friends or Foe”.
Anyway, as I am a huge advocate for mobile phones in classrooms it should come as no surprise to readers of this website that I am also a huge advocate of mobile phones when it comes to outdoor learning.
I first spoke about some of these ideas at the Royal Geographical Society last November. There are lots of Apps for the iPhone, Windows 7 Phone and Android that are appropriate for use within outdoor learning.
Some of the iPhone Apps that I mentioned at the Learning and Teaching Scotland Outdoor Learning Regional Events were:
- iPhone notebook (built in)
- Google Maps and Satellite View (built in)
- Ordnance Survey Maps (I use OSBrowserR2)
- Built in GPS for Google Earth Exports (I use GPS recorder)
- Evernote – The ultimate electronic fieldwork notebook!
- Mobile blogging Apps – Including Typepad, Blogger and Wordpress
- Other fieldwork apps that night be appropriate for children (clinometer, compass etc…)
- AudioBoo – Great because people can subscribe to your 'Boos' through iTunes
- Speak and Spell – a letter game with a difference
Many of the Apps that I mentioned give children a real chance to send data back from the field and write their fieldwork reports as they go. The strength of both Evernote and AudioBoo is that it also gives us a real opportunity to help geo-locate children’s learning.
The GPS function of the phone should also not be under estimated and you can also buy a geocaching.com App.
Augmented Reality also has a huge amount of potential for its use in Outdoor Learning. I have recently been absolutely blow away by the Museum of London Street Museum App.
This App allows you to go to certain parts of London and the App augments pictures for the 1940s or historical artwork over real-time images of London. I’ve not had a chance to check this out personally yet but the demos look absolutely amazing.
Now I’m not suggesting for a moment that we should use the Street Museum App as part of our normal outdoor learning experience in schools. Although, I think it has huge scope here. Where I think the Street Museum App becomes really valuable is when we start to think about it in the context of children using it by choice themselves to extend their own learning and to make them independent learners because they have develped an interent in landscape and history.