Mobile phones and Outdoor Recreation

I tried a little experiment with my Year 9 Outdoor Recreation class last week. We are doing a unit on Navigation using maps and compasses initially, and then handheld GPS units. First of all though I wanted them to be able to translate a birds eye view of the school into a hand drawn map, and then use that map to find locations around the school as a part of a treasure hunt for puzzle clues. Find the locations, find the clues, solve the puzzle.
Rather than have me go around and choose spots on the map where I was going to leave the puzzle clues, or mark the spots as waypoints on the GPS, I thought “why not let the kids pick the spots”. Easy enough, but then training the kids to use the GPS efficiently would take time (that I didn’t have), and the chances of getting accurate written descriptions of the locations were not great.
So then it came to me…the majority of the kids had phones with cameras, and the ability to Bluetooth an image to my DERvice. I would get them to photograph something identifiable around the school, and then we would use the visual clues to find the puzzle elements that would be left at the site of the image.
I don’t know why, but the students were initially wary about using their phones for this, but all came back with some “interesting” images. Some needed to be reshot, because they proved to be too obscure, but most were useable. Some kids asked for some more time to pick and shoot their image. Volunteering for homework – whatever next!!

Next lesson the images, inserted on the best hand drawn map of the school, will form the “treasure map” for the kids treasure hunt.  I’ll have the worksheet to show here after the lesson.

Now, rather than give out the worksheet on paper, my dream would be to distribute via Bluetooth to phones so the kids could carry it with them! Is this possible? I’ll be trying to find out!

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