Using technology to teach orienteering

students using their phones Trainee teachers of physical education learnt more about ways in which they can integrate technology in physical education lessons and enhance the teaching learning of orienteering.

Traditional versions of orienteering can be more appealing through the use of technology especially if pupils are allowed to use their mobile phones or school devices within physical education lessons.  Trainees learnt more about photo orienteering, the use of QR codes and the use of data collection packages which collects all relevant and programmable information from participants to be quickly shared and recorded.

The participants wear a specified card on their finger, which they present to each of the control point markers and information is stored at a central computer. The software allows data to be registered such as split times and time taken between control points as well overall time to complete the course.

PGCE and School Direct Route Leader for Physical Education, Dr Gary Stidder said: “By integrating the use of technology in physical education lessons and specifically through orienteering it can promote the development of cross-curricular teaching whereby pupils can improve their own learning and performance, improve their literacy and numeracy skills, and work with others to solve problems and make decisions using the most up to date technology.

“The intended learning outcomes relate to developing technical, intellectual and social skills through direct experiences of overcoming challenges, and sharing decisions without the need to take pupils away from the school environment.”

The trainees were also introduced to the latest APPs for teaching orienteering. Actionbound is an app for playing digitally interactive scavenger hunts. The program augments reality by enhancing peoples’ real-life interaction whilst using their smartphones and tablets. It can be used to create a digital timeline of events or a places of interest tour, with the use of GPS coordinates and pre-placed codes and mysteries which is ideal for teaching orienteering to pupils in secondary schools.

Dr Stidder said: “The use of APPs such as this has a great deal of potential in orienteering. The use GPS locations, directions, maps, compass, pictures, videos, quizzes, missions, tournaments, QR codes and mobile app-based adventures can be highly appealing to pupils and provide additional motivation with respect to increasing participation rates in physical education lessons.”

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