Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bellefontaine Cemetery: A Mobile Device Civil War Expedition

Yesterday was our Bellefontaine Expedition that I had recently posted about.  After worrying about it for a while--worrying about if the iBooks would work, if the kids would be able to find the graves, if the iBooks were written easily and had appropriate cemetery tasks and easy to follow--the expedition was definitely a success!

First off, we had a gorgeous morning--it wasn't too hot or raining.  We separated the 8th graders into two groups to tackle the two clusters (hence the need for 2 iBooks) they took off in pairs to complete this mobile device scavenger hunt expedition.  This was my first expedition I've planned using solely mobile devices (iPods, iPhones, or other smartphones) as our only "journal"-type documentation (usually we give the kids a journal book and pen and paper...not this time!).  The students could use their own iPod touch, iPhone, or smartphone as long as it could do the following:

  1. Take pictures and videos
  2. Be able to open and read PDFs
  3. Be able to get the pictures and videos off of your mobile device once we get back to school (meaning, if you're planning on using your smartphone, make sure you bring in your connector cable so you can upload your pics and videos to your computer)

We also had our 20 school iPod touches to use too for the kids that didn't have their own device.  Once we got to the cemetery the kids set off, using their iBook and mobile device, to locate as many of the 26 Civil War figures they could.

At each located gravestone the students had to perform a task based upon who was buried there and that person's legacy.  Sometimes it was taking a picture, other times it was reenacting a battle scene that person fought in.

After several hours at the cemetery, we headed back to school to complete the second half of this mobile device expedition.  All of the pictures and videos the students took would be used to create a movie detailing how Bellefontaine Cemetery is important to the legacy of the Civil War and the people buried there.  Students were given a set of instructions and set off the rest of the afternoon to create their video.  

In just two short hours, the students blew me away again!  They created some amazing informational videos detailing about Bellefontaine Cemetery and its connection with the Civil War.  Below are some of the videos the students created.

This really turned out to be a great expedition and really fun to both plan, prepare for, and for the kids to participate in.  I know they learned a lot about not only this cemetery but the people buried there...and I think these videos below showcase that very well.  Enjoy!

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