ERA wins Conference award

The KMi developed ERA (Enabling Remote Activity) system, designed to enable mobility impaired students to participate in Geology field trips, was recently voted the most inspiring project at a UK wide Virtual Fieldwork conference.

KMi’s Earth Science collaborators, Jesscia Bartlett (SXR339 Course Manager) and John Whalley (Field Tutor) presented ERA to the May 2007 EES (Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences) one day conference "Virtual Fieldwork in the GEES Disciplines: Pedagogy and Technology". Participants were asked to vote for “the conference presenters who have done the most to inspire you today" – and ERA came out tops – well done Jessica and John!

ERA was described as “Inspiring ways to widen participation in fieldwork”, “Heroic effort”, “Creative, imaginative and positive approach to creating virtual environments to support an individual student’s needs on a field trip, which enabled her participation”, “Different and experimental”.

Fantastic validation for all the hard work put into the project by the KMi and Earth Sciences staff.

Last summer, ERA helped a mobility impaired student participate in the SXR339 "Ancient Mountains" Summer School based in Kindrogan, Scotland. This summer, we’re evolving the system to support another course, S260, exploring the geological history of Britain, in a field trip to a sand quarry in Bedfordshire. We’ll be extending the system to experiment with VOIP (Voice over IP), PDAs, and connecting groups of students in the field to remote groups based in the Open University.

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