Sunday, March 28, 2010

Photo Orienteering...

If you are looking for a great blog to read as a PE teacher trying to integrate technology then you will enjoy reading Jarrod Robinson's blog, 'Mr Robbo the PE Geek'. Jarrod is an Aussie PE teacher who offers some fantastic ideas on integrating technology into Physical Education lessons (have a look at his ACHPER conference presentation for some great ideas). One of his posts last year was geared around using QR coding in orienteering, which made me think of an even simpler way of using technology in orienteering... Photo Orienteering.

One of the things we are faced with while teaching middle school Physical Education at ISB are short PE lessons. This means that we don't have much time to teach tools such as QR coding. In reality, we want to maximise our activity time to ensure kids are moving. So instead of using QR codes we decided to create photo orienteering. The idea behind photo orienteering is that there are no clips or code to find, instead the students just have to take an enlarged photo of a photo clue given with a map, thereby matching photo clues to map locations. Almost all our students have camera's on their cell phones so there is little or no need to supply any camera and once set up this is a very easy lesson to administer.

Here's how it works...

We give the students a double sided laminated page, one side containing small numbered picture clues and the other side containing a google image with circles showing where the different pictures were taken. The pictures are small cropped pictures from a larger picture taken at the site, here's an example of some of the picture clues:

Here's an example of from a section of the map...

The students are instructed to go to one of the circles on the map and see if they can find one of the cropped pictures in the area of the circle. When they match the cropped photo with the circle, then they need to take an enlarged photo of the area to verify they actually went to the location, here's an example for letter C, which matches with photo clue number 16:

The Orienteering is easy to administer, the checking at the end is easy with all the answers being shown on a looping PowerPoint so students can check off their photos to answers, scoring themselves on the total number of images they were able to find.

Please email me if you need any more information on administering this.


  1. Awesome work around for a hard to program topic. Even with longer lessons, orienteering is difficult to administer. I've tried QR codes, and a photo course as well. I put letters at each of the photo locations and the kids have to solve a puzzle to complete the course. Yours sounds better, actually, with the kids using tech to complete.

  2. Yeah, the nice thing about the photo orienteering course is that you don't have to set it up each time. When you are teaching a full load, coaching and doing the 101 other things many of us teachers do a course set up can take a long time. Just be sure to take pictures of fixed items as you don't want to be re-doing this year to year!