Heading up to FSC Preston Montford today to speak about how technology can help to enhance fieldwork at secondary school. Basically, a series of stories about what the Priory Geography team has been up to in the past 12 months.
I started by introduction some of the challenges that secondary schools face in getting students off site and emphasising the usefulness of onsite fieldwork. In addition, I spoke about the danger that technology has in removing young people from getting outside. Yes, GIS and visualisation software such as Bing Maps can be very useful when investigating data and describing patters / places, but they don’t engage young people with the actual place in terms of emotion. I used the example of the My Walks project to speak about the importance of fieldwork on different scales. To many, fieldwork means getting young people in to the wilds, but effective fieldwork that develops geographical skills (such as enquiry), knowledge and understanding.
I also revisited the idea that Ofsted does not kill serendipity, but teachers do (for various reasons).
Finally, many of the anti-mobile voices raised this week over at the Guardian’s Teacher Network Blog have focused on ‘not everyone has one.’ True, we researched the issue and found out exactly how many of what device our young people have. In addition, with our regulator looking for independence and collaboration, not having enough devices is sometimes a bonus.
The rest of the slides helped me tell the story of fieldwork projects: