On 23/02/16 the Learning Technologies Team hosted Rakegate Primary School’s Year 4 class at Kingswood Centre in Staffordshire for a day of outdoor adventure and learning.

The main activity for the day was technology-led orienteering, which involved the children tracking down bluetooth beacons hidden across the leafy grounds of Kingswood using just an ipad and a map.

Bluetooth beacons are small devices that broadcast signals which can be heard by smart devices nearby. Using a specialist app on the ipads along with a map, the children were able to navigate their way across the grounds in groups ticking off each beacon as it was discovered.

With every beacon came a different challenge. As the children came within range of a beacon instructions appeared on the ipad, setting tasks which tested their technological skills as well as their knowledge of the outdoors. The children practiced macro photography, experimented with animation, created a video interview to complement their own digital newspaper and undertook some scientific investigations using data loggers to measure the temperature, light and noise of different locations in Kingswood. They also had the opportunity to get up close with the local wildlife, taking part in bird watching and meeting Kingswood’s resident sheep, rabbits and mini-beasts.

The children thoroughly enjoyed the tasks, and rated the day “5 stars out of 5 stars”. The most popular activities were photographing the sheep, building a bird’s nest and completing puzzles and games on the ipads.

“I’ve enjoyed today because I’ve seen so much stuff, this was my first time being at Kingswood and I’m just really happy to be here.”

“Today has been the best day of my life because it’s better than having to write and do literacy and maths. We got to go outside and explore.”

“An enjoyable day that the children have found thoroughly engaging. A nice way of taking learning and technology outdoors. All children were encouraged to work independently and handled both ipads and data loggers with care.” – Miss Chaudhury