Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Fieldscapes: A new idea for Virtual Fieldtrips

A while back I wrote a post about Google Expeditions.  Since then I've come across a couple of colleagues working on a format that has a lot of similar, interesting features.  I presented these to Geography school teachers on Wednesday night at a 'TeachMeet' run at the RGS (thanks for hospitality RGS and for Alan Parkinson for standing in to compere).  Google were there promoting their expeditions in schools.  I couldn't post my slides for copyright reasons so I thought I'd write some notes.

Basic Idea:

Much as in a third person shooter game you enter a fieldtrip 'world' and explore it.  You can find markers which can be clicked bringing up web materials (related images, videos, multiple choice questions).  The environment can be customized by the teacher allowing them to put in instructions, self assessment questions and links 'in world'.  This means you can re-use the environment for different levels of students.

The video above gives you a nice taste, I am not convinced by the 'learning fieldwork skills' functionality but the other features it shows are very interesting.

As an aside, Declan De Poar came up with a similar idea for use in Google Earth  that I remember him showing me.

Who is doing this?

Daden are a commercial company already working with the Open University on this, Fieldscapes is their project.  A colleague of mine at Hertfordshire (Phil Porter) came up with a similar idea.