Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Doomsday Reloaded Parent child peer collaboration and geocache

Over the last month couple of months I have taken geocaching into (and more importantly outside of) the classroom, embeding it into the learning.

In the last week I have been on a year 9 controlled assessment field visit. On the visit the class placed a geocache which had an information booklet and a QR code of the guide to a blog site of the geographical history and landscape characteristics that people were looking at at that specific part of their walk / cycle ride. So if you are near William Gill near Tan Hill Grid Reference 932071 Or Reeth Grid Reference 044987 you can hunt for a geocache (to get confirmation from Geocache) about Arkle Beck.

I first started off by getting students to create their own geocache (click on the link here to visit the geocache website and watch the video on the home page on how to geocache geocaching introduction. Click on the 2nd link for a guide on how to set up your own geocache geocaching guides) and writing about the learning that they have done in school over the last term. Students then created a QR code which would take them to the work that they had produced on a blog.

Over the last week I have developed this to incorporate the BBC doomsday project. This was a nationwide project launched in 1986 to record a snapshot of everyday life across the UK for future generations. Now 25 years later you can explore the archive online, see the pictures, update the information and make your mark on this record of our history.

My interpretation of the project has been for students to fill out a booklet with their parents of their everyday lives for the students NOW and for their parents / carers / guardians / aunts / uncles / grand parents to write down what their everyday life was like 25 years ago. I've found this has worked best with photographs. Students have been really interested in seeing old photos of their parents with their fashion sense, hair cuts (perms), dogey facial hair and glasses. I've tried to request that parents find photos of what Darlington looked like 25 years (or so) ago and then the students go to the same spot and take a photo today This gets them familiar with their surroundings and looking at a scene in a different manor.

This is where the geocache comes in. Parents and students include photos of the same site and they compare the similarities and the differences and their comparison stories of life 25 years ago and now. The students and parents then go and make a geocache and hide it for the next generation to find and update.

The final element of the project is to get parents and students to present their doomsday reloaded projects to the rest of the class.

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