If you have a challenge for our hackers please feel free to pop it in the comments below.

Challenges can be educational, asking how a specific or general area of curricula is supported.  Pedagogical in asking how a learning journey expends across activities.  Knowledge based- how can we share expertise and knwledge of a specific area.  Technical- how can we use this tech, platform or tool best in the classroom or self guided learning.  Design- how do we structure a user journey through an online activity looking at this stage of learning.  Or any combination of the above.

Think about the breadth of your challenge- set something that can be seriously tackled in a short time, if not fully solved.  Don’t be overly prescriptive either- just telling us to do one specific thing with one piece of kit won’t leave us the wiggle room to be properly creative on the day.  Is writting a challenge a challenge?  Yes, and so it should be!

We won’t hit all the challenges, but they shall be grist to our intellectual mill, and we will have them all there to explore.  So, please fire away.  And I promise, I’ll mine the blog and comments for more to post here soon!

Challenges- Apps:

Step by step guides.

Better transfer of information from iPads to laptops, also to include graph drawing ( possibly stats).For instance: collect plant abundance data from a transect on the beach, and instantly create graphs (and possibly a working stats result (Spearmans Rank Correlation).  This to swiftly sync with other transect data to produce average data.

Identification Keys  –

ID Keys that users (teachers or studients or course desingers/planners) can create/adapt. Also with helpful hints (eg. Explanation of anatomical features).  (JARGON WARNING: Geographers use ID Key to mean data sets that allow the visual identification of specific species or classes of natural object or material- not to be confused with the software security sense of ID Keys)

  • Keys – Biological, geological (rock types) and geographical ( housing styles and ages).
  • Species ID, taking pictures and identifying organisms – an FSC wide network of experts to instantly ID plants/animals/rocks/real ales

Easy to make /adapt questionnaires ( not linked to internet), that can produce good graphs

Challenges- Connectivity:

Ad hoc networking based tools- Exploration of ways to let iPads and other tablet and smartphone devices share content in the absence of 3G connectivity- peer to peer wifi networking or mobile wifi basestations.  Applications for collaborative learning experiences, push notifications of event based content across local mesh networks.

Asynchronous networking as connection for extended learning journeys- 2 days to 2 weeks) with occasional updates based on connection at infrequent intervals, but delivering consistent scaffolded learning via event or location driven triggers to content.

Challenges- GIS:

GIS Creation tools

Able to create GIS on the iPads rather than having to transfer data to laptops then create.For instance: Collect pedestrian count tallies in Plymouth which links to an exportable KML file (or equivalent)

Tools to convert field gathered data into GIS embedded graphical outputs- eg graphical representation of species tally numbers drawn across map of beach.

Applications giving Augmented Reality view of GIS mapped data.

Challenges- Hardware Hacks

Couple of recent ones to add here:

automatic online weather station.

Full spec on the day, but should, use given sensors (wind speed/direction, rainfall, temp, humidity, barometric pressure) record into a publically accessible databse, plot graphs based on what the user wants to, be accesible OTW
and if possible, submit data to the Met Office WOW system.

Single Function Reliable Field Laptop

Take an older laptop that is struggling with an obsolete mainstream OS, and has some iffy elements, and rebuild it with a stripped down Linux OS and a GUI that is built around doing on simple task reliably- data logging, reading SD card data to create group logging files, building picture libraries etc.  We’re seeing if the center has some ‘long in the tooth’ machines that are able to be experimented on in this way.

Rocket Propelled Succession Plotting

Using small rockets to deploy marker lines to set up grids and lines for collecting data sets. Not strictly speaking very practical, but an excellent excuse to get rockets int a hackday.

Kite Based Observation System (KiBOSh)

Lofting simple cameras to take snapshots of field studies group to assist in recording the location of sampling sites- e.g. deployment of quadrats.  Could also use rockets (but no immediately cool acronyms.