Mission: Explore is something I talked about at Teachmeet Midlands and thought it warranted it’s own blog post so I can go into more detail about how I’m using it with my year 4 class than was doable in 2 minutes:
I first heard about Mission: Explore from the Geography Collective sometime last year when I saw David Rogers (@davidErogers) posting about this pocket-sized geography book on twitter. It looked interesting as it presents geography in fun and different ways so I duly ordered it, read it, was amused by it and thought about using it with my class. And then other things got in the way and I forgot about it. Until…
At the end of January my school held a #NorthantsBLT day where people from around the county came to our school to share ICT ideas and when talking about ipods and ipads the Mission: Explore app (free) was mentioned. My Headteacher has also been planning a gifted and talented geography project around London doing a hi-tech version of Monopoly and I wanted to do something similar with my whole class so that they all got a chance to participate. That’s when I struck on an idea using the Mission: Explore idea for a project.
Last week we spent one afternoon outside trying out some of the Missions from the book; not all are suitable for doing in the school grounds so I picked out a few that I knew would be possible. The children were split into mixed groups of 4 and sent off with an ipod touch per group and their challenges to complete. What was really great was seeing the children use their ipod touches to do extra research; looking up more information about ladybirds or what type of trees they were looking at which was just brilliant.
Next on the list is a Mission: Explore day on March 9th where we are going to spend the day out in the village exploring the app and website a bit more and creating missions for other groups to do but more on that nearer the time when I’ve finalised it properly. A couple of other people on twitter @marc_faulder and @greeninkuk mentioned doing something at their schools on the same day so if anyone else wants to join in feel free. Would be fab to have an impromtu National Mission Explore Day up and down the country! Even Mission Explore themselves are on board and have suggested using the hashtag #MissionExploreDay to post about what you get up to.
I’ve also got a bit of geocaching planned as there’s a cache trail in our village. I’m going to be trying that out over half term to check it all works which should be great fun!