Sunday, 15 November 2015

EOTC Get Lost roundup

When we were asked what could we do for EOTC Week, I never imagined the comments that I have had this week.

Developing the Hobsonville Habits, developing lifeskills, being able to teach my child something that I couldn't.
These have all been comments from the parents through the students explaining their learning over the past week.

Over the past week students have been through an Education Outside the Classroom Experience, Called Get Lost. It is important to highlight the principles of EOTC.

EOTC is curriculum-based teaching and learning that extends the four walls of the classroom.

Learning takes place both inside and outside school. Learning at school should encourage young people to be capable and knowledgeable citizens, who are involved with the communities they live in and contribute to the wider community. Every young person should be able to participate in learning beyond the classroom, whatever their age, ability, or circumstances.

Learning outside the classroom has the potential to support learning in ways that are consistent with the vision, graduate profile, principles, values, attitudes, key competencies, and effective pedagogy statements in the national curriculum (The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa). In addition, EOTC can support the aspiration for broad and deep learning in real-life contexts within and across the learning areas of the national curriculum.

The New Zealand Curriculum identifies five key competencies: thinking; managing self; using language, symbols, and texts; relating to others; and participating and contributing. Settings beyond the classroom are rich sites for developing, practising, and demonstrating the key competencies in a range of contexts within and across learning areas.

  • Authentic contexts are essential for developing the key competencies. Since it is important for students to develop and demonstrate their capabilities, where better than in authentic contexts beyond the classroom? 
  • Students need to apply the key competencies and use them to transform learning. They are a means of transforming the way in which students engage with and use their knowledge and understandings. Where better to apply and transform new learning than in relevant, authentic contexts beyond the classroom? 
  • Students need to develop the disposition to use the key competencies. Attitudes are important as well as knowledge, skills, and values. Learning beyond the classroom prompts students to demonstrate that they are ready, willing, and able to use the new competencies that they are developing. 
  • The future-focused aspect of the key competencies can be reinforced through EOTC, through experiences in which students encounter future issues that are a current concern in contexts beyond school.
Through our school, rather than the five key competencies, we have expanded them into dispositions, sort of extracting the key competencies into ten habits. 

When I think about the EOTC Journey that I have been on with this, and also the students, the habits are identifiable and the students have identified various habits as they have been on their journey. From being able to work within their group, comments from the students often talk about having to sort out issues within their group. When going through Auckland CBD on Wednesday many of them talked about the need to be compassionate, this brought out many conversations about the homeless people that are around the CBD. 

How did this happen...
It is great to have Auckland Transport and their AT HOP Cards, this meant that travel could be preloaded and students get to use a single card for their entire week, it also mean that each student have the responsibility to manage themselves. For the week, I only had one student forget their HOP card. 
Later on I will include some other comments about the AT HOP Card and the issues that we faced...

Preparation began a number of weeks ago, thinking about ideas and how to do a 5 day EOTC week, making sure that we stuck within our timeframes of time. For many of the students on this they have afternoon commitments that they were worried about. A look on the website and looking at ferries gave me the times that I had to work with. The Hobsonville Ferry was out of the running straight away as the times that it left were not in line with our school day. The West Harbour ferry left as 9:05 and arrived back at 3:40. A discussion with some of the get lost students who have afternoon commitments was held and they were happy with the times. 

Once we had the times and my initial planning from 5 years ago, we needed an extra two days. Having a discussion with a teacher at school getting students out east and south for a day, as well as north and west for the second day. Out west was then taken out of the equation as it was felt a number of students already knew that area well.

Day 1: Hobsonville Point and West Harbour, no transport required. Students will be completing a Street Orienteering activity and learning how to use a GPS receiver down at Bomb Point.

Day 2: Students will travel to and from Britomart on ferry and travel to Auckland Domain for the main activities.

Day 3: Students will travel to and from Britomart on ferry and activities will be based around Downtown Auckland.

Day 4: Students will travel to and from Britomart on ferry and participate in an amazing race style event based around Auckland CBD to Manukau using Bus and Trains.

Day 5: students will travel to and from britomart on ferry and participate in an amazing race style event based around Auckland CBD to Albany using Ferry and Bus.

A booklet went out with all the the EOTC Week events, where students were to select their top three. This work well as the majority of students managed to get their first choice. 

Once the initial selection was done, it was communicated through learning hub, where students had an opportunity to change if needed.

Once numbers and choices had been sorted it was then time to meet the students. 

We had four meetings with the students, the first was around informing the students and answering questions about the event.

The second was to collect information, cellphone providers and wether they had a AT HOP Card.

The third was to collect in the AT HOP card and check in with the students about other questions

The fourth was to finalise all the details and pass out the final details, in which I also emailed out to parents, including the "What will happen if students do not make the ferry back on time."

To run something like this requires a large amount of planning and research. A day in the Auckland Domain checking to see if everything is in its place. Amazingly not having used the domain for the past 5 years, the logs and rocks were still in the same place. The only thing that was missing was the train carriages I used.
A day around Hobsonville Point and an afternoon caching down at the point.
A day around CBD, this was also an ingress event day in which I used a lot of the places that were held as part of this event.
I originally planned south auckland to include a trip out to the auckland domestic terminal, I removed this section of the race as I felt that an extra one and half hours could have been pushing it.
Travelling out and around the north shore looking at places to use, I found a fantastic bush within the city that allowed me to get students to explore different areas. From Volcanic cones, to beaches, to native bush.

Day One
Two maps, Hobsonville Point, and Hobsonville to West Harbour. This involved an aspect of street orienteering, at each of the sites, there was a question. Two of the sites involved the students taking a photo. 

I would probably make the second map a bit shorter. While many of the groups managed to do this in a good time, one group took 5 and half hours to do this. Many group came back talking about how they managed to get lost. A common phrase over the days. Many proudly talking about how they got lost and what strategy they used to become unlost. In the afternoon, there was a quick session on how to use the GPS Units that they would be using tomorrow.

Day Two, auckland domain, a mixture of caches and puzzles
First trip on the ferry today, with a train to take us the rest of the way. It was lucky that today we did this, as part of the route to the Auckland Domain on wednesday was part of a police cordon. 
Today was all about the GPS units to fin there way, no map. No way of knowing which paths to follow or what bush they would be going through. For the students it was all about following the arrow. 
Through my planning and checking the night before, I managed to miss one mistake, instead of being 174, I had put 144. This resulted in a number of groups talking about how the arrow did not move, one thing they forgot to look at was that the GPS unit was staying the cache was 2788km away.

billy goats gruff
can you spot the cache?
getting prepared
the most hated steps

While there were caches, there were also puzzles, getting students to investigate the world around them.

The end of day two
It was a change for Steve to have run looking for caches, he missed one

What people started to realise is that I visited the domain three times during that week, once on Monday night to put the caches out, to run the event, and then that night to collect the caches again. It is rather a busy park after work, with many groups playing soccer, running, cross fit and I think an AA meeting? 

Day Three, Auckland CBD

Planning their route

Planning their route

Discussing what order
Today, maps and cards. Getting students to follow a GPS, is one thing, but having to follow a map with 22 different points on it. Sounds like a computer science problem to me. What is the best way to go. How much time do we have to visit all 22 points?
Introducing students to the concept of nearest neighbour...
I am going to start of with the idea of using a computer to try and solve this problem. In fact here is a widget from the website.
It would take 80,948,713,101 years and 11 months and 4 days for a computer to find the best route for this problem.
For the students, they had 5 hours.
The yellow dots are detours, in which all students in the group must all complete a physical challenge.
Shooting baskets
500 skips by the group
One was skipping 500 times, the other was how many basketball shots could be made in 3 minutes. 
Students also had to create an origami boat and have it sail in a fountain. (Instructions were provided)

One thing I start to realise is what is available in the CBD to be able to develop ideas, new parks, spaces and those laneways. Getting students to explore the spaces around them and start to think what can be done differently.

Day Four, South Auckland, Trains! 
train timetables and maps

where do we have to go

Tasks that have to be completed
Planning, on the way to town we gave out the days train timetables and notes on what they had to do. This provided the students time for planning, what train were they going to try and catch, what order would they do it all in. The conversations during this time were purposeful and students were having to show compassion towards others in their groups when there was disagreement.
Many students had not ride the train before. This was not at all surprising as there are no trains really on the north shore. Many talked about how clean and quiet they were. The information put them to one tree hill, sylvia park and manakau station. It also involved a 1km sprint between orakei and meadowbank station along a boardwalk across the orakei basin. This was the day I though I was going to have to stay in town for an extra period of time. Two students had yet to make it back, lucky 15 seconds to spare.

Day Five, North Shore. Buses and Ferries!
Ready for day 5

We need to build a sandcastle?

Trying to figure out bus routes

Old military bases, beaches, rose gardens, bush, sculpture gardens, a selfie and mini golf.
Not stopping for the view
Ferries, this was the day that we had an issue with one of the HOP Cards, this ended up two students not making the devonport ferry with everyone else. However these students were resilient and carried out with purpose. Considering they sent an image near the end of they day as they were crossing the harbour bridge they could see the ferry coming to pick us up below them. 
Racing the ferry from the harbour bridge
They made it back on time. Mind you I though this was going to have other issues, getting reports of students still on north shore at 2:00pm, my mind was running, ok, four groups have yet to make it back, what did I email to parents earlier this week about the next ferry.

Thanks to the West Harbour Ferry company for four days of having extras on board.

This has been a fantastic week in which the students enjoyed, I had one student who found it a bit much. However, in talking with the students, they did not realise the amount of physical activity required for this. They could not explain to me what there initial reactions were to what Get Lost would be about. They had to get themselves around, use three forms of Public Transport, climb, create and mange themselves.
Trying to do this with a teacher working with every group is just too hard. Considering there were only three teachers for this. Without the other two (Steve and Leoni) it would have been too much to do. They were invaluable. They ran the checkpoints that I set up, the physical activities or challenges, they were there to support if anything went wrong. A lot of this has a large number of risk factors attributed to it, the RAMS form was 9 pages long. 

I think one of the biggest things that I learn from this, is that the qualities that we are developing with our students are those that they can take into situations, five days of Get Lost is rough on any person. These students managed to do it for the five days, turning up every morning, managing themselves and often having to deal with struggle within their groups.

AT HOP Card Issues
Registration, it seems that when a 15 year old student registers their HOP card, it makes them an adult when in fact, the website states over 16 years old.
  • Children 5 to 15 years inclusive (until 16th birthday) of age are eligible for a child fare.
Day Pass AB
When you look at the the map around what an AB Zone Day Pass, you see all this green, so sweet, no... however it only applies to Inner Ferries, if you ar not to sure what that means, it is only the ones straight across from Auckland CBD, not including west. Hopefully this can be made clearer.

Loading 30 HOP Cards shouldn't require 30 transactions, Trying to find out if you could load them all at once with just the HOP card numbers. This required many emails and phone calls to try and find out. 
Thanks to the great customer services people at Smales Farm, you were awesome helping me get the money loaded and for the information you provided.

Seems one of the cards was Stolen?
Turns out it was't still don't really know what happened here, but got a text message from a student that told me that the customer services rep told him that the card was stolen. At least the student was able to log into his AT Account on his phone and show that he was the holder of that card. But it resulted in him missing the Devonport ferry ontime.

No comments: