This is the fifth 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 think that all outdoor learning should have a purpose otherwise it is just ‘outdoor’ (isn’t it?). During my presentation at the Learning and Teaching Scotland Outdoor Learning Regional Events I talked a lot about purpose including:
- Learning new skills and reflecting on what you have learnt
- Overcoming physical challenge and understanding progression
- Facing your fears and sharing this with others
- Collecting scientific data and publishing your results to a wide audience
- To complete a national accreditation award eg: John Muir or Duke of Edinburgh Award
I also talked in detail about two other technologies that could add purpose to outdoor journeys.
These were:1) Open Street Map
OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world. Maps are created using data from portable GPS devices, aerial photography, other free sources or simply from local knowledge. Both rendered images and the vector graphics are available for download under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.Again, children gathering real data to support global collaboration projects like this provides real purpose for students work. One of the most impressive up-dates of OpenStreetMap ever was after the Hati earthquake.
Globally, after the earthquake, hundreds of people collaborated to produce a map of the island using satellite imagery that could then be used by the rescue services. Just have a look at the video below.
2) Microsoft Photosynth
Photosynth is a software application from Microsoft that analyzes digital photographs and generates a three-dimensional model of the photos. Its great for outdoor learning because lots of children can take a picture of a landscape or feature and then when you get back to class the software can turn it into a 3D object.
For example all of these photographs below of the view of the River Clyde....
Become a stiched 3D panorama (Silverlight plugin required):
This can be used to develop collaboration (eg: combining childrens photographs when you get back to school), the objects can also be used for reflective purposes and you can even geo-locate photosynths in Bing Maps to give real audience for students work.