Dr M’s Diary: Day 3 Sunday
In which Dr M is inspired by the final sessions!
This final morning was about best practice in using technology for fieldwork learning. And what better way than through three diverse and inspiring talks given by three inspirational women!First Susan Mains from University of Dundee presented a fantastic exemplar of best practice in a secondary school field course to the Highlands of Scotland. The message for Dr M here is that secondary school students are using iPad technology in their school fieldwork and we need to be ready to build on that in the University sector!
Next up, Judith Locke from the University of Southampton, and Dr M was on the edge of his seat as Judith recounted the SpeciesHack event at the University of Southampton earlier this year in which biology students paired up with computer science students to work developing species ID apps during one saturday! It is sweet music to Dr M’s ears that this kind of innovative species ID teaching and learning work is going on in the UK!
Third to speak was Sarah Tayor from Keele University, who rose to her self-inflicted technological challenge of presenting her talk in Prezi as a first time user. But there was no need to fear, all went smoothly with Sarah’s first swirl through Prezi and her message was all about finding the financial and scientific ways and means to use iPads as collaborative tools to enhance identification skills in the laboratory and field. Dr M was especially interested in Sarah’s focus on existing apps and other tools for helping students to learn about tree ID using leaves, twigs etc.
After these presentations Dr M had a final chat with new friends and colleagues, like-minded people, all beavering away in different ways but all with the same message – field skills are important, challenging and huge fun!
Then a quick cup of tea with Reading colleagues Rob Jackson, and the kids Veena and Jonathan. Then back to the posh hire car and the drive home through incipient but never too fearsome rain storms and the wondrous scenery of Llangollen and surroundings back to Didcot and from thence to Reading to write this post and then to bed for a well-earned rest before the working week rears its ugly head!
It’s been a long but great weekend! Dr M thanks Derek, Alice, Julian, Brian and all the EFL team for great organisation, the FSC staff for super hospitality and all the delegates for their contributions making this a truly inspirational weekend!