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EFL Showcase Event: eXtreme botany – worth shouting about!

Dr M’s Diary: Day 2 Saturday afternoon

Dr M talks eXtreme botany and the audience goes wild!

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eXtreme botany: something to shout about!


Saturday afternoon, the field trip planning session was put to one side for the while so we could listen to a series of afternoon talks including field network systems and the challenges of mobile learning in the wild.

The session ended with Dr M on the podium discussing the use of video for teaching and learning plant ID.

Dr M addressed the delegates and with characteristic modesty introduced his concept of eXtreme botany – and the crowd went Wild!

Wild about eXtreme botany! Wild about video for plant ID! and Wild about drmgoeswild.com!

Well that Dr M’s take on the proceedings so perhaps a tad biased – but only the merest tad and the images show scenes that certainly seem to corroborate Dr M’s version of events!

After the presentation from Dr M it was over to the audience for discussion, “What makes the ultimate plant ID video?”, “How best to develop a Plant ID video library?”, “What are the best practice tips?”.

The audience discussion raised valuable issues and pointers towards the future of video for plant ID.

(1) User focus – Make sure the concept is developed for what the users want, so discuss with students and other audiences and find out what they want and work from the user needs.

(2) Tag the video library – Students working in a particular habitat might prefer to see the videos grouped  by woodland, grassland, heathland etc.  Dr M is resistant to this idea of organising a video library by habitats because he is a firm believer in teaching plant families as a means of developing long term and deep ID skills. However, different user requirements could be met by tagging the video library by criteria such as “family”, “habitat”, “flower colour” even “season” etc.  And so different users could sort and search by preferred category.

(3) Use the best tools for the job –  In addition to conventiona video tools, EFL has demonstrated exciting iPad apps that could be valuable for preparing teaching and learning materials, e.g Explain Everything which allows the user to combine mixed media – still shots, video, and even adding hand drawn annotations and narrations/voice overs.

Overall there’s plenty to shout about – check the video!


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