I have just returned from three days at camp. Our year 5 and 6 students visit the beautiful bush setting of Galston Gorge for an outdoor education camp every year at this time. It is an opportunity for students to leave home comforts behind and try new things. To get out of their comfort zone and make new friends. To learn to work together as a team, to trust each other when trying new activities and to have fun testing themselves physically within a safe environment. For most students camp is a wonderful place, for some though leaving home is hard. For some parents watching their daughters leave can also be hard. There can be tears as well as laughter at bedtimes.
This year however ,we kept in contact with our community. We tweeted throughout the day, we sent photos out via instagram and I wrote blog posts for our class blog year 6rc via my phone, although lack of WIFI meant I couldn’t get photos to upload. Since the 3G WiFi could only being found in a few spots on the camp site, I was on occasions sited standing alone, in the middle of a path way seemingly engrossed in my phone! Communicating in this way meant that I was able to reassure parents that we had retreated from our tents to avoid the torrential rain. I was able to show students tweeted responses from their parents. I was able to show them how their families had ‘liked’ our instagrams. All of which they loved. I even manged to get two staff members new to twitter, to try it out from the safety of our school account.
Both during and after our trip to camp, the overwhelming parent response has been positive, with emails and thanks from many. I am already looking forward to using my phone in this way when we visit Canberra later in the year.
So next time you go with you class on an excursion or on camp, why not use the technology at your fingertips and connect with your community too?