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‘ Technology Enhanced and Field Based L earning ’. Prof. Derek France Dept of Geography & Development Studies ( [email protected] ). New To Teaching in GEES Workshop : University of Birmingham, December 2012. Ice breaker…. Form a line up for all workshop participants ..

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Technology Enhanced and Field Based Learning’

Prof. Derek France

Dept of Geography & Development Studies

([email protected])

New To Teaching in GEES Workshop:

University of Birmingham, December 2012

Ice breaker
Ice breaker…..

  • Form a line up for all workshop participants ..

    • by date of birth Jan1st to Dec 31stYou have 1 minute

    • Your understanding, experience and application of technology enhanced learning.You have 1 minute

Objectives of Workshop

  • An appreciation of how technology can enhance teaching practice

  • To demonstrate potential transferability of technology into practitioners own teaching

  • An evidence-base for colleagues on how to use appropriate learning and teaching strategies to integrate technology in curricula.

Why engage with digital technologies
Why Engage with Digital Technologies?

  • The modern day University student is often referred to as:

    • ‘The Net Generation’ (Tapscott, 1998),

    • ‘The Millenials’ (Oblinger and Oblinger, 2005)

    • ‘Digital Natives’ (Prensky, 2001)

  • Oblinger and Oblinger (2005)… digitally literate, highly Internet familiar, highly social, crave interactivity in image rich environments and don’t think in terms of technology, they think in terms of activity which technology enables.

  • Think in terms of ‘Digital Wisdom’ and ‘Digital Enhancement’ Prensky (2009)

Why engage with digital technologies1
Why Engage with Digital Technologies?

  • “Lord Puttnam – Handheld Learning Conference 08 advocated that ‘only building upon the possibilities opened up by digital technologies can we ensure that education will triumph’

  • “the use of digital technologies changes the meaning of the learning activity, subtly or profoundly” Beetham and Sharpe (2007, p.33)

  • However, a recent study by Jones et al (2010) reports variability of the ‘net generation’ with the use and appreciation of new technologies

Web 2.0

‘Social Web’

Software that supports group interaction

(Shirky, 2003)

What two words best describes your opinion of using digital technologies for teaching and learning

Activity 1

What two words best describes your opinion of using digital technologies for teaching and learning

Goto to the Wiki

Lights, Camera, Action!

A Framework for Developing Podcast Content



To Lectures














Study Skills




Integrated with VLE

Stand Alone





Senior Students

Others (Experts)





Temperate (Immediacy, Alive)



Single Session

Multiple Sessions


Short (10 minutes or less)

Longer (10+)


Formal (Lecture)

Informal (Conversation, Discussion)


Large Student Cohorts

Small Groups of Students






(Nie, 2007)

Lights, Camera, Action!

(Impala project, 2007)

Models of Podcasting

Model 1:




podcating lectures




listening materials

(complex concepts)



Model 2:






Instruction on

technique &

equipment use

Video footage

prepare for

field trip



Model 3:






(Structures, tissues,


Model 4:





teaching & learning

(replace text-based


Model 5:




podcast based on

field trips


podcast to address

climate change

Model 6:



Model 7:



Bring topical


Guidance & tips

Assessment tasks




Online teaching

Nature and content of the feedback

  • More personalised:

  • “This feedback felt that the work had really been looked at and evaluated personally.”

  • ‘I listened to this at home and it felt like you were in the room with me and I wasn’t totally comfortable with that’.

  • More understandable?

  • You get “the tone of voice with the words so you could understand the importance of the different bits of feedback.”

  • Responsiveness to receiving information verbally:

  • “Don’t just briefly read it, you actually listen to it and take it in.””

  • “Better, goes in more. Can remember feedback from podcast but not from written.”

  • Greater sensitivity to the spoken word:

  • ‘I liked the feedback for what it was, but I also found it a bit depressing. It was very personal… I felt I let you down’.

  • “May be harder to hear a poor mark, rather than receiving it in writing.”

Podcasts from the field
Podcasts from the field

  • Fieldwork element

  • Potential to increase student engagement through:-

    • Digital story telling

    • Learner generated video podcasts

  • Integrated component of the field report

Record the video sequence using digital cameras to cut down post production editing

Back at University compile podcast and share on the VLE

Marking criteria
Marking Criteria

Wakefield and France (2010)

  • Project Outline

  • 3-year National Teaching Fellowship project

  • Funded by the Higher Education Academy in the UK

  • Cross-disciplinary: Geography, Earth sciences, Geology, Biosciences and allied subjects

  • Aims of the Project

  • to enhance student learning in fieldwork through the use of technology

  • to focus on hardware and software that may enhance learning

  • to gather and share good practice of fieldwork

Aspects of Fieldwork Learning

  • Fieldwork is expensive in terms of money and time

  • Students must make good use of the time in the field

  • Fieldwork is not accessible for all students, however, by using technology students can remotely access field sites if necessary.

  • Technology can speed up data collection and allow students to begin analysis during the field trip rather than back at the University – increases student engagement & enthusiasm levels

Activity 2

Using geomeasure app to calculate the shortest distance by road from the University rail station to The Clock Tower, the area around Edgbaston Park,Work in small groups for 5 mins plus verbal feedback


Twitter: @fieldwork_ntf

Results of International Practitioners Survey 2011:

What are the barriers to using technology in fieldwork?

Lack of time to implement new technology

Cost of technology/limited resources

Limited staff/student technology skills

Why was this technology introduced?

Increase speed and volume of data collection

To enable students to begin analysis during field trip

Improve digital literacy of students

Using iPads for sketching

Activity 3

Open the skitch app….and select either a photo from the camera role or take a new photograph. Using the selected photo, add appropriate labels and annotations of your choice.

5 mins plus verbal feedback

Useful fieldwork apps
Useful fieldwork apps

  • GeoMeasure– an app to measure distances and areas on satellite images.

  • iGeology – an app from the British Geological Survey showing bedrock and superficial geology in the UK.

  • Earth Observer – an app which generates a wide range of maps from across the globe.

  • Panoramio – an app which has geotagging of photos enabled. Integrates with Google Maps.

  • iTalk – a high-quality voice recorder for qualitative data gathering.

  • Polldaddy – create a free 10 question survey to gather and collate data (no 3G/wifi needed)

  • iCelcius – use with an iPad temperature (~£50) probe to record and graph temperature data.

Activity 4

In groups discuss the benefits and challenges of the practicalities of using iPads in teaching sessions, Time – 5 minutes

Fieldwork and technology
Fieldwork and Technology

  • “Reluctant colleagues” are often cited as a barrier to using technology in fieldwork.

  • “Bring your own device (BOYD)” is a concept whereby students are encouraged to use their own technological device for fieldwork. What are the challengers with this concept?

Opportunities for Change

  • E-learning design: consider

  • “What are the learning outcomes of the course?”“What are the aims for the students? – skills development”“What learning activities may encourage the above”

  • E-learning tools:

  • “What tools are supported by your institution?”

  • “Can you use freely available Web 2.0 tools? Any local policies, technical or cultural barriers? Support of institution? ”

  • Will the students be absolutely clear about the purpose of the learning activities

  • Reusable learning objects (RLOs), free resources:

  • “Explore iTunes U for educational content; Open Learn from the Open University”

  • “Jorum UK’s online repository; MIT OpenCourseware initiative”

Future technologies

Case Studies

France and Wakefield (2011)Digital storytelling

Netskills (2011)Using QR codes to add layers of information to locations

Scott et al. (2009)Virtual Field Guide

Jarvis & Dickie (2010)Video podcasting of field methods

Cremona et al. (2011)Using shared spreadsheets

on Smartphones & Tablets

Welsh et al. (2012)Geotagging photographs

Welsh & France (2012)Smartphones and fieldwork

Action plan
Action Plan

  • What have I learnt?

  • What I am going to do next?

    • Where will I be in 6 months

  • What 3 things can you feedback to colleagues?


  • Department for Education and Skills (2005) Harnessing technology transforming learning and children’s services. Retrieved fromhttp://www.dfes.gov.uk/publications/e-strategy/

  • France, D., and Ribchester, C. (2008) Podcasts and Feedback. In Salmon, G., Edirisingha, P. (Ed.) Podcasting for Learning in Universities, pp. 70-79. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.

  • France, D., and Wheeler, A. (2007) Reflections on Using Podcasting for Student Feedback. Planet 18, 9-11.http://www.gees.ac.uk/pubs/planet/p18/df2.pdf

  • Gibbs, G. (2006). How assessment frames student learning. In C. Bryan and K. Clegg (Eds.), Innovative Assessment in Higher Education (pp 23-36). London: Routledge.

  • GfK (2008) NUS/ HSBC Students Research. GfK Financial London, Study Number 154021


  • Handley, K., Szwelnik, A., Ujma, D., Lawrence, L., Millar, J. & Price. M. (2007). When less is more: Students’ experiences of assessment feedback. Paper presented at the Higher Education Academy Annual Conference, July 2007. Retrieved from http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/York/documents/events/conference/E5.doc

  • HEFCE. (2009). E-learning strategy. Retrieved from www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2005/05_12/

  • Higher Ambitions (2009) Higher Ambitions, Online at http://www.bis.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/publications/Higher-Ambitions.pdf

  • Juwah, C, Macfarlane-Dick, D, Matthew, B, Nicol, D, Ross D., & Smith, B (2004) Enhancing the Student Learning through effective formative feedback. Higher Education Academy, York. www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/York/documents/resources/resourcedatabase/id353_senlef_guide.pdf


  • Nie, M. (2007). Podcasting for GEES Subjects. Paper presented at the IMPALA 2 workshop, Dec 2007. Retrieved from http://www2.le.ac.uk/projects/impala2/presentation/2nd%20Workshop/Presentations/Ming%20Nie

  • Oblinger, D. G, and Oblinger, J. L. (2005) Educating the Net Generation. Educause. Available online Retrieved from

  • Prensky, M. (2001) Digital Natives Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon, 9, No 5. MCB University Press http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf

  • Prensky, M. (2009) H. Sapiens Digital: From Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom. Innovate, 5, No3, pp1-9. Retrieved fromhttp://innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=705&action=article


  • IMPALA. (2007). Resources and tools for creating podcasts. Retrieved from https://swww2.le.ac.uk/projects/impala/documents/resources-and-tools-for-creating-podcasts

  • Salmon, G. & Edrisingha, P. (2008). Eds. Podcasting for Learning in Universities. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Including companion website: http://www.atimod.com/podcasting/index.shtml

  • Miller, S & France, D (in press) Real-time emergency response scenario using a Web 2.0 technology. Planet. HEA GEES

  • Shirky, C. (2003) Social software and the politics of groups. Networks, economics and culture mailing list [online] 9th March 2003. Retrieved from http://shirky.com/writings/group_politics.html

  • Wakefield, K., and France, D. (2010) Bringing digital technology into Fieldwork. Planet 23, pp. 63- 67