6 Ways Technology Can Enhance School Trips
With numerous reports about how technology, in particular smartphones and social media, is damaging our children’s health, the wisest option seems to be to bring certain restrictions into our schools. But anyone who can see beyond a few months knows this is as sustainable as cutting
It's not only that technology will be an integral part of young peoples futures, but that it is also one of our most powerful forces for positive change in the world. And as such, when played to its strengths and properly managed, it can be transformative in students’ learning experience; offering insights and activities that no amount of money or resources ever could otherwise.
So instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater, it’s clear schools need to reevaluate their relationship with technology. One great place to start is with our list of six activities in the natural world (perfect for school trips) that can be enhanced through the use of one piece of technology in particular that every student owns.
The Peterson Birds mobile app makes bird watching simple and engaging at every age. With beautiful illustrations and photos of birds and their nests, students can get familiar with common and rare species while comparing their different and unique characteristics. You can bring an element of competitiveness and play into the activity by making use of its Life Lists feature and get students to mark birds they hope to see.
As an educational activity that connects students with nature, although this one will likely be extracurricular, stargazing and technology go hand in hand. You can set students tasks to find certain constellations and planets as homework using the wide array of mobile apps. Star Walk Kids, in particular, allows users to scan the skies and learn about astronomy in an interesting and engaging way.
Who said treasure hunting couldn't be incorporated into a school trip? Although it may be a bit difficult to uncover actual treasure, it is possible to find digital delights with geocaching. Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game that uses GPS to guide to direct users to hidden geocaches (containers) at locations around the world.
You can make it more educational by supplying students with compasses and helping them brush up on their orienteering skills.
Combining a trip to the seaside with environmental studies can be a little tricky, but technology is here to help. The Marine Debris Tracker app was developed to help document the amount and type of litter and debris that winds up on our coasts, in the bid toward cleaning up our oceans.
Students can know they're contributing to a worldwide mission that has already helped recover over 1 million pieces of rubbish.
Students can instantly become citizen scientists with the Project Noah wildlife app. Using the app, you can discover thousands of organisms from around the world, document them with your phone, and help real scientists with their ongoing work.
Project Noah is a great example of how technology can engage the public in the wider effort to save species from extinction, and will undoubtedly lead to many more future scientists!
Up In The Trees
Trees are one of the wonders of nature that we see every day and yet know so little about. But with a little help from our smartphones and an app called Tree ID from The Woodland Trust, we can find out everything we could ever want to know.
Students can use the app to match up bark, twigs, buds, leaves, flowers, and fruits from native and non-native trees to images that identify what species they are. Students can learn all about everything from the tree's genus and folklore to its history and uses, and will most certainly be left feeling that bit closer to nature.
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