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Handheld Technology hits the Waterways

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Graham
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« on: July 17, 2007, 07:08:34 PM »

Long time Forum member Grace Sim sent me this press release today :-)

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“Spectacular!” was just one of the overwhelmingly positive comments from pupils from Glebe Primary School in Uxbridge, as they trialled new Wildkey mobile technology on board the West London Floating Classroom.

For the first time, instead of using laminated cards to identify wildlife, they were able to answer questions on a PDA to work out what they had seen, and find out some fascinating facts about the animals! Not only that, but the software designed by Wildkey and developed specifically for the canal by the West London Floating Classroom allows children to record the precise location of their wildlife sighting using GPS, so they can even construct a map of the local wildlife landscape.

Elsdale II, the West London Floating Classroom is a purpose built wide beam barge operating primarily in Hounslow, Hillingdon and Ealing. Funded by the Heritage Lottery and other partners, the aim is to enthuse children by drawing them into the history and environment of their local area. Schools visit to enjoy curriculum linked sessions in History, Geography, Science and Art.

Children also tried out a similar programme to teach them to differentiate between different types of barge; to understand the links between materials, design and purpose. They were keen on the fact that the PDAs allowed them to understand more about the world around them. They compared traditional tally chart recording with using hand held technology, and noted ‘this is more environmentally friendly because we are not wasting paper’. At the moment, there are just two devices, which meant that not all children were able to access and use the software fully, and it would be enormously beneficial to be able to hold a full trial of the programme.

In future, the West London Floating Classroom hopes to purchase EDAs, which have cameras as well so that children can photograph their sightings and use them to feed into national surveys such as BBC Springwatch and the RSPB Big Schools Birdwatch….watch this space!


PDAs motivate Glebe Primary School pupils to look more closely at their environment


A pupil explains the devices to Gary Jacobs (Interim General Manager,Groundwork Thames Valley)

Editor’s notes:

West London Floating Classroom (WLFC) Ltd, a subsidiary of Groundwork Thames Valley, operates a wide-beam canal boat along the Grand Union Canal in Hillingdon, Hounslow and Ealing.

Named Elsdale II, the boat was especially designed and constructed to offer community groups and schools the opportunity to discover the local canal environment and heritage. Over 4,000 young people will have benefited from WLFC’s educational modules in the first year of operation.

Funding from the Heritage Lottery and Hillingdon Community Trust has enabled WLFC to develop a unique environment and heritage programme to share the history and environmental benefits of London’s canals with young people.

As well as giving children an unforgettable chance to explore their environment and heritage on board, Elsdale also hosts private parties and corporate functions.

For more information, please visit www.elsdale.co.uk and www.groundwork-tv.org.uk

More information on Wildkey handheld technology can be found at www.wildkey.co.uk

For more information, please contact Grace Sim, Education Manager, West London Floating Classroom, Colne Valley Park Centre, Denham Court Drive, Denham, Uxbridge, UB9 5PG on grace.sim (at) groundwork.org.uk


Nice one!

Wildkey will be exhibiting at Handheld Learning 2007  Wink
« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 07:24:10 PM by Graham » Logged
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