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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?

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3 comments

  1. Anthony W

    I am one of those parents Henrietta mentions and I encourage all teachers to give it a go. All the things Henrietta says I agre with and I add from my perspective the sense you are sharing some of what my daughter was is an important connection with her and her learning.

  2. Hello Mrs. Miller. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I will be summarizing your post on my blog.
    I have been camping quite a few times in my life. Once a year from 7th grade to 12th grade with my church youth group, and several times with my family. My step-dad grew up camping, so naturally he took us. About 4 years ago my parents and I went to Tennessee and I was only allowed to use my phone to say good morning and goodnight to my boyfriend. I was so mad at them for not letting me use it on this trip, but I understand now why they did it. I am constantly on my phone, and they didn’t want me to miss out on visiting places.
    I looked at the pictures on the class blog, and this looked like a very fun trip! I know not many girls like to go outdoors and camp, but it gives them a different scenery and atmosphere. Keeping the parents updated via pictures was a great way to have them involved in the trip and technologically. Thank you for sharing this experience with me! I enjoyed reading about it and seeing the pictures.

  3. Hi Henrietta
    Did the same thing a couple of weeks ago from Canberra. 3G coverage should be better for you there! As we haven’t got blogging going yet, I used my blog and password protected the posts to keep it restricted to parents only. It was a great success and the nervous parents really appreciated it. It ended up being a good advertisement to show the benefits of blogging. I ran a staff meeting last week outlining my plan for ICT this year and have 9 teachers interested in blogging this year. The success of the camp blog probably got the principal interested in it too. Hope to start developing blogs with the interested teachers in the next fe weeks through Techie Brekkies. I wrote about the blog experience on my blog just recently. Was amused when I saw you had done the same. spooky!