Ice age walk in a digital era

The walk is given by the House of Nature for students in grades 1-3. Photo: House of Science..
Published Apr 14, 2020

If the students cannot access the ice age walk, ice age walk must come to the classrooms. In a short time, House of Nature has turned a guided tour outdoors into an digital indoor experience.

If we find an esker it can serve as a compass, but how?

The question pops up on the screen in a classroom in Täby while the students watch Therese Hååg walking around in the Bergius Botanic Garden. Many eager hands wave via Zoom on the screen and want to interact with Therese.

Students in a classroom in Täby join the digital walk.

Engaging the pupils is the ice age hike held by House of Nature - but this time digital, like so much other teaching in virus times. The children simply have to stay in the classroom. On the live walk this spring day, only Charlotte Flodin participates. She manages the technical parts and films when Therese is guiding.

"This time of year we normally have lots of school visits. We felt that wanted to offer the schools something, now that they can’t transport themselves here. We chose a few activities that we thought would be possible to carry out digitally and then we thought about how to manage it practically", says Ann Franzén at House of Nature.

But how do you get a walk that normally takes place outdoors interesting to the children, and how do you interact with them remotely? Even though this posed a number of challenges - both educational and practical ones – the team at House of Nature has been able to quickly move from idea to reality.

"We had to learn quite of lot of technology new to us. How do you pad your microphone to avoid interference? How do we mount a webcam on a computer? What if it rains, and how does sunlight affect the image when filming?"

The first sharp trail guiding with a class took place during the week before Easter.

"And it went very well!" says a satisfied Ann Franzén who followed both the walk and the children in the classroom from her sofa at Ekerö.

"In the future, this might be an opportunity for those students who for some reason cannot attend the class when they visit us."

Facts about the walk and the House of Nature

The outdoor walk "Remains from the Ice Age" is about the ice age and the traces that are left in our landscape and how we use them in different ways.

House of Nature (Naturens Hus) is one of five educational departments at The House of Science (Vetenskapens Hus). Other departments at The House of Science are also developing various digital activities to meet the crisis.

The House of Science belongs to the Department of Learning at the ITM School.

Text: Anna Gullers