Team Introductions – David Morgan

As a late comer to the FNS project I have been somewhat tardy in my contributions to this blog. I thought my first contribution should be to introduce myself……..

Name: David Morgan

Place of work: Field Studies Council Preston Montford

Job title: Senior Education Team Member

Role: My key responsibility is the development and delivery of the centre’s educational products.

I work with groups of students ranging from early junior school through all levels of senior school to university and beyond.

Our aim as an education team is always to provide  fieldwork experiences that are inspiring, interesting engaging and relevant, and this increasingly means technology plays a part.

Within the wider context of the FSC I am one of the organisations “Geography Buzz Group” leaders, a group which aims to develop new approaches to delivering geographical learning in the outside, one of the themes which the Buzz Group is concerned with is the use of technology in fieldwork

What I hope to get out of the FNS project: During my time with the FSC I have seen rapid developments in the technology which can contribute to the collection and interpretation of fieldwork data. In the past these developments have come with some compromise, generally reverting back to using a clipboard and spreadsheet in the classroom. 

The advent of  smartphone and tablet devices brings together many of the tools we have used in the past – camera, GPS, map, clipboard and recording sheet, spreadsheet – into one place, and makes it easy to join all that information together, potentially leading to a revolution in the way we do fieldwork. New methodologies can be built around the capability of the technology, as opposed to using the new “tool” to do the same old job.

I hope that by the end of the project we have developed a system which helps us to collect, record, collate and analyse field data seamlessly, with the added benefit of being able to draw on results collected in the previously, or at other locations to add depth to our understanding.

The potential value of such a system to fieldworkers is huge, if we get it right there will be an enthusiasm from education teams to adopt it, at Preston Montford, and other FSC centres. The finished product must therefore be adaptable enough to tweak for use by different groups and different centres without becoming unwieldy.