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Computing & I.T Resources

Learning outside the classroom – the WildKnowledge approach


aking education beyond the classroom enlivens lessons and engages pupils in the

world around them. The Summer Term is the perfect time to undertake this but the question is where do you begin?

What is WildKnowledge? WildKnowledge is an online portal ( which offers an excellent way of introducing Learning Outside The Classroom (LOTC) to your pupils. The portal contains a suite of apps which bring recording and exploring exercises to life. These apps utilise the full functionality of mobile/ tablet devices (camera, GPS, video, mobility) and embed ICT across a whole range of subjects. In collaboration with your pupils you can

design content for 4 kinds of mobile/tablet apps: • WildForm - replaces the clipboard and turns tablets/mobiles into data gathering devices which can gather data on ANY topic.

• WildKey - diagnostic, branching database that enables novices to make informed decisions in the field (e.g. wildlife identification)

• WildMap – interactive outdoor learning trails with multimedia content and quiz questions / challenges

• WildImage – interactive trails on base images – perfect for museums, school buildings or even imaginary locations such as the moon. The portal takes you through the whole cycle,

from designing forms, keys or maps, onto data gathering, to analysis of the data to provide understanding or knowledge.

How can I use WildKnowledge in my lessons? A quick overview of some example uses reveals how WildKnowledge can be applied to both primary and secondary lessons: • Science – applying sampling techniques, making and recording observations, including: vital statistics surveys, wildlife surveys, habitat surveys, energy detectives, food chains, water quality surveys, pollinators and churchyard chemistry

• Geography - fieldwork & interpreting geographical data, including: river surveys, globalisation of the high street and the development of trails around local green spaces and field trips.

• Technology and Engineering – building surveys, structural integrity, sensors (air/noise pollution), materials and their properties, forces in action, infrastructure surveys

• Maths – outdoor maths including trails which involve finding solving mathematical puzzles, undertaking shape hunts and ‘angle’ orienteering.

• Citizenship - global interdependence and creation of pupils own surveys.

36 April 2015 The WildKnowledge approach enables pupils

to be involved not only in the data gathering aspects of the application but also the design that needs to go into creating the application. Gathered data is turned into knowledge via data interrogation and analysis on the portal. As such, ICT is embedded in WildKnowledge’s products as it is the means by which content is designed, data is gathered and then analysed and understood.

What’s different about WildKnowledge’s Apps There are now a number of wildlife identification apps or apps that require you to record certain phenomena on the market. However, these tend to be fixed, prescribed apps which act independently of one another. These apps do not have a user friendly creation tool that enables you and your pupils to create your own mobile keys, forms and trails and to also share these with the wider community. WildKnowledge also enables you to bring all gathered data into your own private account where it can be aggregated, visualized and understood. There are thus obvious links to database analysis, Citizen Science and ‘the Wisdom of the Crowd’. WildKnowledge works on iOS and Android mobiles and tablets enabling pupils to use their own devices beyond the classroom and undertake their own projects.

What does it cost? A subscription to the WildKnowledge Portal starts from £400+ vat a year for 100 users (each app is £1 per pupil). You can also buy premium wildlife keys (see more info here al/education-costs). To enable you to experience this innovative approach to outdoor learning WildKnowledge are offering a free month’s trial within the upcoming summer term. To benefit from this, email quoting ETTRIAL before 15th May. You can find out more by visiting the

WildKnowledge website or going to YouTube M56Kg. So, with spring upon us what are you waiting for? Throw away your cumbersome maps and clipboards and get ready to Go Wild.

Images © of Nick Robinson

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