I have been working with 2 degrees for the last 2 years on a number of projects that I play with at school. The first was Get Lost! We managed to 2degrees to sponsor the SIM cards for the 2009 project. As 2degrees was a new network and they were wanting to get out into the market place. Last year, 2010, we also used 2degrees as well. However, it was a interesting experience this time dealing with a store rather than twitter and email. The face to face contact was great, explaining what I wanted to the manager of the store and dealing with him on the issues that we were having with some of the departments within 2degrees, one thing I learnt is that you have to give them a months heads up, as some departments have difficulty talking to each other. hopefully from last years experience this years will go a little more smoothly.
Why do I use 2degrees and their mobile network. Well, telecom and vodafone the cost of the SIM cards is too high, 2degrees have a better rate for the SIM card, plus I have started to see some of their details are a lot better. They are willing to work with me and solve solutions to the problems that I give them. Also, the SIM cards that I use are to meet the health and safety aspects of the field trips or activities that I run. I love seeing students in the outdoors and experiencing the Education Outside the Classroom that is now starting to become missing from schools.
If I need to contact a student or for them to contact me it is a quick phone call or text. It means that I don't have to have a lot of teachers out in the field with each group, I am finding this has better relationship with the key competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum. Students, I am finding enjoy using there cellphones for a personal use, but for an educational use they are not too sure. This is mainly due to the $10 text packages they are on, why do they want to use these valuable text for learning. Provide a SIM car with limited amount of funds on it and they want to use it. For the three day Get Lost! programme I provided $5 on each SIM and no student was without credit at the end of it, and I had received over a 1000 texts on my phone from them, including phone calls and PXT.
The latest is to take my year 13 students to a number of locations this year and give them a day to come up with the website. These are 6 hour based competitions that I am thinking of. Students will be given information before the event, like location and any information that is needed. the first one is to north head, this has a self guided walk, what the students will be required to do is to create virtual self guided walk through the information they find on the site as well as what is available on the doc website.
The second is to look at how a qr-code development at auckland museum would work. Students will be given a section of the museum to go through and develop information that could be accessed on an itouch using qr codes or entering in a code. There will be a limited number of exhibits that they can create content for, as well as having to access the museum database as well for more information. They will need to be fast and have access to a wifi network to access information as well as publish information.