- September 6th, 2011
- Derek Robertson
- Comments: 2 Comments »Tags: game based learning, Land of Me, outdoor learning
A few months back I featured the work of Bernadette Donald from Dundee who was involved in the Land of Me pilot project. She was inspired by the idea that a digital game such as Land of Me was designed to encourage enquiry and learning away from the digital screen, possibly more than actually from it. The context of creating an intrepid explorer mindset, inspired by Eric, Buddy Boo and Willow, in young learners is something that appears to have appealed to many teachers who have been involved with this pilot – including the team at Port Ellen PS.
Outdoor Explorer Logbooks
In order to exploit the children’s heightened levels of curiosity and willingness to explore the outdoor environment and in order to yet again involve parents in the children’s learning the class teacher devised an idea that involved the creation of an outdoor adventurer pack. This pack included:
- A pair of binoculars
- A magnifying glass
- Some bug collection boxes
- An Outdoor Adventurer Logbook
There were four of these packs available to the children to take home so that they could go out into their own environment and explore! The logbooks were packed full of photographs, drawings, stories and information about Islay and the various creatures that can be seen there. One boy even reported seeing an eagle on the roof of the Laphroaig Distillery! A whole host of artefacts were discovered and brought in by the ‘Little Explorers’ and the display table found itself festooned with antlers, shells, broken bird’s egg cases and even an empty wasps’ nest!
As with the earlier post about making outdoor dens in the forest from the school in Dundee the teachers at Port Ellen PS talked glowingly about the impact that this experience and what the overarching context was doing for the children involved. In particular the teachers commented on:
- how much more aware and knowledgeable about their own environment the children were becoming
- the fact that there was purpose and a focus for family time at the weekend was well received by many of the parents
- the fact that children were hugely keen to get hold of the adventurer pack so that they could explore outside, note what they see and then report back to their classmates.
Now that we have come to the end of this pilot we would like to take the opportunity to thank the people at Land of Me for supporting our pilot projects and to all the staff, children and parents from Dundee, West Lothian and Argyll & Bute for making so much of what we have done such a positive experience.