Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

As technology heralds all-inclusive school field trips

04.07.2005


Establishing live, interactive links between pupils on field trips and those in the classroom is a set of tools that frees teachers from the challenge of engaging all pupils on external field trips.



Organising field trips may sometimes be difficult because the venue limits the total number of visitors or parents may simply be unable to afford the additional costs involved. Therefore the IST programme-funded RAFT project set out to demonstrate the educational benefits of external field trips for classroom pupils, in order to prompt best practice for such activities and to promote a market for technical products. The project also aimed to push the standards envelope on current learning materials, and to establish new forms of pupil collaboration using real-time video conferencing and audio communication in a real-world context.

Describing how RAFT tools can help teachers promote pupil inclusion into external visits project coordinator Marcus Specht says: “Our main achievement was to establish the methodology and technologies that would enable teachers to organise field trips that would not have been possible before.”


“If we organise a visit to the control tower at Cologne/Bonn airport, for example, the maximum number of visitors allowed in a group is just five,” he adds. “It is difficult for a teacher to promote such a trip, knowing that out of a class of say thirty pupils, twenty-five will have to stay in the classroom.”

The RAFT team’s approach to this problem was to establish a structure for each visit in which all the pupils had precisely-defined roles. Some members of the field team were assigned roles as data gatherers for example; their task was to take measurements and audio or video recordings at the site of the visit, in some cases as directed live by members of the base team back in the classroom. Other field group members would be reporters – their task was to interview the people conducting the visit and obtain answers to key questions, again in some cases as directed live by the team back at base.

Each visit would be prepared beforehand by the base team in the classroom, which would define the tasks to be carried out, the data to be gathered and the questions to be answered, who would then monitor the field team in action via live audio and video links. These base team members also had tightly-defined roles, visit director for example, or team researcher.

The technology underpinning this team structure was deliberately kept as simple as possible for the classroom end of the link, says Specht. “It’s no good planning an elaborate technical infrastructure when the school involved might have only a single DSL line,” he says. “Full video conferencing is impractical in such situations. So we designed the RAFT tools to be totally Web-based at the classroom end, and accessible via a normal Web browser.”

In practice, he notes, for trips to locations within German cities the field team could often rely on the resources of a full wireless LAN for communications. When they were out in the wilds, he says, then they typically used 3G phones for audio and video communication.

The data being fed back to the classroom could be fully annotated by members of the field team, says Specht, and these annotations were stored along with all the other data recorded during a visit. In fact a key concern for the RAFT team was to facilitate the re-use of field trip data by subsequent pupil groups, perhaps the next group of pupils in the following year. They therefore developed a management system to provide archiving facilities and easy access to the stored field data, either for classes or individual students.

RAFT finishes in 2005, and the participants are already discussing with national schools or teaching associations the possibilities of listing the RAFT set of tools on their respective Web portals. They are also planning a major end-of-project event, “probably in a circus marquee either in Cologne or Bonn” says Specht, to which they will invite schools representatives and the educational media, for discussions on how to facilitate training in the use of RAFT tools.

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht The Maturation Pattern of the Hippocampus Drives Human Memory Deve
23.07.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht Cebit 2018: Saarbrücken Start-up combines Tinkering and Programming for Elementary School Kids
05.06.2018 | Universität des Saarlandes

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>