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Odblog

A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Landmarks

Categories: Geography General

This is my 500th post on a blog I initially started to share a few lesson links with students. I have stated here before that the inspiration of Ewan McIntosh from an in-service at school, and Alan Parkinson from my first SAGT conference were responsible for my decision, and I have found that my blog has become a lot more than I first bargained for. At various times, it has been a sounding board for students, a feedback portal for lessons, a way to share lesson resources easily with students and others, a CPD resource for me as colleagues from elsewhere have left comments and, hopefully, a decent way for students to organise and navigate revision material.


Lately, I have spent a bit less time blogging due to work commitments and, frankly, twitter has taken up far too much of my time. I do think that a blog allows me to be a lot more expressive, so what I am intending to do with this post is expand on a few ideas that I have shared on twitter, particularly in relation to how I think mobiles could be used to enhance a field trip. I'm also hoping to trial most of these in the Alps in 3 weeks, providing my technology doesn't fail me, so I may be hung out to dry here too!


Last year, we tried sending some tweets from our outings. This was OK, but limited because I was on a pay as you go at the time. I'd like to make more use of this with the forthcoming group of students to share their trip experiences and allow parents to see the trip unfold. I'll also be texting brightkite, which will send location updates on to twitter as we check in at certain places. I'm planning on using GPS Tracker from instamapper providing I get a decent internet connection. This allows parents to track us in real time at points of the journey. We won't be using this all the time, as it's a real battery killer, but I thought it would be worth tweeting beforehand and then using on our trip from the station in Chamonix to the Mer de Glace, our boat trip on Lac du Annecy, the walk to the Bosson viewing platforms and our long walk in to Sixt fer a Cheval. I'll be embedding a map here which, hopefully, parents will check on and play around with the view options or export later to Google Earth if they have it. Here is a trial run to my brothers to show how it looked when I did this:

Less likely after using this and the effect it will have on the battery is the option of using qik. It would be great to live stream some trip video back to classrooms and parents, but this might be tricky- I could maybe get a couple of students to do a walking tour of the accomodation and Morillon with this instead?

After the day's exertions, when we have a bit of time at night and the phone has some juice in it again, I would like to use cellspin to try and send audio and pictures to flickr and the blog. Maybe an opportunity for students to be a bit fuller in their comments about their experiences. Parents could leave comments on the blog too if they had a question or just wanted to say hello. As I said before, my experience prevents me from being too hopeful that all of these will work. The first year I tried to use twitter, it didn't work, last year I thought I'd be able to blog, but that didn't happen either, so these are all just my hopes. I really think that this is something which would help engage parents more in the experience of their children, and having the blog is what will (hopefully) allow that engagement to be facilitated in the one place. So. once again, cheers Ewan and Alan!

4 Comments:

At 8:18 am, Blogger GeoBlogs said...

Hi Kenny
I've never been called an 'inspiration' before, so thanks for that - I always enjoy reading your thoughts because unlike a lot of my recent ideas, you actually get to use yours with students to see whether they actually work.
Hope to see you at SAGT again this year...
Keep up the good work !

 
At 9:25 pm, Blogger Kenny O'Donnell said...

Thanks for the comment, Alan. As I continue to rip off many ideas from others, I can try yours for you if you like ;-)

 
At 6:44 pm, Blogger CreativeSTAR said...

Hello Kenny

I've just found your blog - it's great. I'm on the SESEF project management group so I'm on the look out of interesting Earth Science info.

Best wishes
Juliet

 
At 8:12 am, Blogger Kenny O'Donnell said...

Thanks Juliet and thanks for the twitter follow too. Will subscribe to your blog and hopefully on the odd occasion there will be something of use to you here!

 

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