A small team of teachers from computing and Duke of Edinburgh departments at the Bohunt Education Trust (BET) has created an innovative ‘Game-Changer’ app to empower its students to be active, learn something new and have fun outdoor adventures of their own to facilitate their wellbeing.
It was launched to help its students, including: 80 Year 11s were about to complete their Silver Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Practice Expedition as lockdown was announced; over 800 students across all seven schools in BET, who would miss out their long DofE Expeditions; and 6,000 students who would miss accessing the extensive outdoor education provision BET offers.
When designing the app, the team’s aim was to ensure that the students could continue to work towards their expedition in a meaningful way that gave them independence and purpose. Utilising technology was a given, but also provided the opportunity to increase students’ IT literacy.
Following initial research, the team decided a web-based app would enable greater functionality, accessibility and convenience for users.
The team built the app with a free trial of the professional app design builder appery.io, while content was inspired by internationally-renowned author Tristan Gooley’s books ‘The Walker’s Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs’ and ‘The Natural Navigator’.
Gooley commented: “Bohunt Education Trust’s DofE Game-changer app has provided a fantastic opportunity for students to work toward their DofE award, learn something new and have fun, outdoor adventures of their own, by getting outside and really taking a look at the signs and clues nature provides. This innovative and inspiring approach to learning about the outdoors is an incredible resource that will enable many young people to learn how to become a Natural Navigator.”
During Beta stage, 150 students trialled the app, and the feedback suggested that impact on student learning would be significant. Following the app’s launch to 6,000 students across BET, it continues to gain new users, and has global reach as far afield as America and China.
Neil Strowger, chief executive of BET, commented: “The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award plays an immensely important role in the innovative and pioneering approach to outdoor education that we foster as a trust. The new BET DofE Game-changers app is one element of a range of resources we have developed to support students, which highlights the importance of, and ongoing achievements in, delivering a broad programme of outdoor education to our students during this time.”
The BET DofE Game-Changers app is designed to empower young people to enjoy, respect, achieve through technology; learning about nature extends far beyond the parameters of the outdoor classroom.
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