Self-Directed Field Trips with Augmented Reality

Field Trips involve:
– hours of  organisation
– the fear of being sued
– paperwork up to your neck

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic: Allan Smeaton

Although field-trip refers to a field, it is possibly not the best place to go on a trip.

But they are fun unless the teacher takes the idea of a field too literally. They are great way to learn many things in science, geography, history, and many other  subjects that are boring because they aren’t science, geography or history.
In this workshop you will learn how to create a field trip that students can do on their own with a phone or tablet:
– If you have duty of care over children, you can focus on ensuring their safety.
– If you are teaching adults it’s self directed. With a handout they can go and do the field-trip on their own or with others
– You may be able to get parents engaged with their children’s learning by getting them to  take them after-hours. (don’t say the dreaded “homework” word)

We will also discuss assessment. Regrettably that is a necessary part of teaching.

I provided technical support for two augmented reality field trips when I worked at the university of western sydney last year. The first had 100 first year students who were accompanied by staff. The second had 1000 first year students who were self-directed. They visited interesting landmarks to learn about urban processes and social differences.

For the workshop, bring:
– A laptop
– A smart phone or tablet
– Any lesson plan you would like turn into a field trip (if no one brings one we will do a hypothetical)
– If you are very keen, sign up for aurasma studio. This is what you will use if you are dealing with a large amount of content but it takes a day or two to be approved.

I would also like discuss communities of practice and what “we in the room” can do to help teachers make the resources for field trips, share them with other teachers, and add to it to improve the work of others.

Although I am currently a user of one app, I do not endorse any single AR company. I believe the audiovisual materials and lesson plan resources should be collected, maintained and shared in an independent repository. Preferably one outside any particular education system or corporate interest. The more technology oriented in the room may be interested in the idea of allowing programmable access to materials. This will allow civic hackers to mash-up other data with your content and add value to your teaching materials.

Fred Michna

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About fred.michna

My research currently looks at the role of maps in community health informatics and service planning. The specific case of my MPhil thesis is autism communities in Victoria. I am also a cartographer and GIS analyst.
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