Safari: An expedition to observe or hunt…
‘SuperFly Safari‘ was the name given to my QR Code trails. Obviously we are hunting out QR Codes, but when the content is so integral to the environment being explored then ‘observation’ is an important element of the game too.
The reason for writing is that for my latest ‘Safari’ I’ve been working with a local primary school for the last month with the aim of creating a QR trail around our village that will focus on the historical aspects of life in the village and create a point of engagement between the school and the community.
The great thing about these projects from a teaching perspective (and I’m not a trained primary teacher) is that there are so many peripheral learning opportunities around the subject, that the ‘tech’ becomes almost incidental… at least that’s the way I feel it should be… if the tech is working then it should be barely noticeable!
So, before I even started on ‘what QR Codes were’ the pupils (all Primary 2, aged 6-7) had been for a couple of walks around the village finding points of interest and had a visit by a local resident who had lots of stories and information about ‘how we used to live’ in the village.
So, my role was to help them set up the QR Safari.
I started with “What are QR Codes?” While I was nervous at the prospect of answering that question for 7 year olds it was surprisingly easy. For the past 18 months I’ve been using the metaphor of the ‘Mystery Box’. The reception to this could be luke warm with the academics, but for the children it really seemed to strike a chord.
I had a wooden 100mm square Mystery Box which contained QR Codes that I would eventually reveal, but at one point during the first class I absent-mindedly removed the lid… there was an audible gasp from the room and I looked up to twenty-five pairs of eyes, did with anticipation..! ‘X’ hits the spot!
I had found my audience!
So, in the next few posts I’ll share with you how we made mini QR Code Mystery Boxes, mapped out our route, came up with ideas for a logo, looked at old photos and discussed how the village had changed and documented the content for the trail. All being well, (with thanks the St Andrews University who are lending us 3G Tablets) the trail should be completed and available to all by the end of the month… so keep it here… ‘X’ marks the spot, you might say…
Next time ‘making Mystery Boxes!’