Sunday, March 20, 2016

#FVvr Scouting Field Trip & Research

Since the visit from Park Rangers Tessa Langford and Bob Cromwell of the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site came to our school, Vancouver iTech Preparatory, our students have been busy.  They have been broken down into different teams to research the different buildings and areas of the park.  To do this, we allowed students select three possible locations that they were interested in, then we were able to divide the students into teams based on research interest.  This gives the students voice and choice in the project.  Once that occurred we went on our scouting field trip.  On that trip, the students toured the entire park and then got to spend some time in the buildings that they are researching.  When they were in their buildings, they needed to select at least one artifact that they found interesting to conduct research on.

After the first trip to the park, students began their research and work.  Each team of students began looking through the resources on the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site's webpage, several publications ,such as Exploring Fort Vancouver, the Google Cultural Institute, and even emailing with Park Rangers Tessa and Bob to conduct their research.  Each student is writing a script for a narration on their artifact, and building.  This process allows the students to build their research, analysis, and summarization skills along with enhancing their speaking and collaboration skills.  

During the days before the filming field trip, the students got to work in their teams to play and practice with the technology needed to capture the 360º images for the tour.  We went over the basic operations of using the Theta S camera and how to use the iPad app to take the images so that they don't appear in the final product.  This is done not only for student privacy reasons, but also so the user gets a more authentic visual experience.  This allows the students the chance to make some mistakes and have some failure and success with the new technology before we get to the fort for the real photo shoot. 

Because time was limited to just over two hours for our second trip, we wanted to make sure we were efficient getting the footage that we needed.  The student teams used several different tools to make a map of their building and mark out their filming locations.  Some teams, like the one researching the Garden and outside grounds, used a screenshot of Google Maps as their base before putting the image Google Drawings to add in their filming locations.  Many teams used Google Drawings to sketch out the different rooms and artifact locations.  A couple of teams decided to build a 3D model of their building using SketchUp, while some drew theirs out by hand on graph paper.  Regardless of which medium and tools they used, they developed critical thinking skills alongside their collaboration and communication skills.

Stay tuned for more, including the photo shoot field trip and script narrations...

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