Tuesday, 6 July 2010

GEES Anniversary Conference - the value of PDAs in extending fieldwork practice in the Earth Sciences

I'm currently attending the GEES Annual Conference here at Plymouth University. Where geography, earth and environmental science academics, support staff and friends come together to share best practice. It's a special occasion for the GEES subject centre, this being its 10th anniversary.

Why the image of a PDA? Well yet again TEL pervades the realms of this conference, there is a technology stream throughout. Happily I can report that the first day contains a series of field trips with a TEL theme. My colleagues Drs Mark Anderson, Meriel Fitzpatrick and I will be running the PDA (GPS) based fieldtrip to Kingsand (as detailed here), where delegates are invited to do the very same as our geology students!

Derek France is also running a parallel session (unfortunately I miss this one!) where delegates are taken on an iWalk, they will be shown various interesting parts of our city and film elements as they go. Then later create an electronic story board showing their findings. I was talking to Derek about this and he said that his students do the same thing at his end of the woods, they typically can turn out a story board using MS Movie Maker in 1.5hours! Yes you guessed it, in effect a short film/podcast.

Also in the afternoon is Dr John Maskall, Dr Paul Lunt, Dr Trevor Collins and John Lea fieldwork session to Devon Great Consuls, 'Improving accessibility to environmental science fieldwork using a portable communications network', which back in March I had the pleasure of attending their trial run.

There is so much going on at this conference regarding TEL, from Facebook to Google Earth. This should be an interesting one!

Update! - Photographs I took at the conference

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