Andrew Doyle's grade 4 class from Ralph McCall couldn't look away from their phones in Nose Creek Park yesterday (June 15).

It wasn't a bad thing. The students were using an app called Agents of Discovery to learn about local history.

Agents of Discovery is a platform similar to the Pokemon Go game that was popular last summer. Using the app on a phone, the kids walked around Nose Creek Park searching for geo-triggered challenges. As they walked, the challenges would pop up, and the students would answer questions about either Airdrie or Alberta, depending on which mission they had selected. By completing challenges, students accumulate points.

"All of the challenges that are in the Airdrie mission are completely researched and written by the kids themselves," explained Doyle. "Anyone who goes through will have a chance to learn about important people, important places that have been named after people, or important events."

Not only did the students research and write the questions, Tina Petrick with Discovery Agents explained that special software allowed the class to actually design the mission completely, including placing challenges around the park.

Learning local history is part of the grade 4 curriculum, but Doyle believes it has an importance beyond that.

"The importance is that we live in this community. It's important that they understand where it's grown from and where it's going to, which is part of our focus in Grade 4, learning about Alberta but also Airdrie."

From Doyle's perspective, using the app to teach his students about local history has a couple of benefits.

"One, it's gamifying the learning, so any time you can create competition or challenges that people have to answer, it engages kids right away. Then add in the fact that they can be active with it, that it's an outdoor activity. Those two pair up nicely with keeping kids engaged."

Emily Marasco from the University of Calgary's Schulich School of Engineering is studying the class's use of the app as part of a research project on technical learning in the gamified experience. She concurred with Doyle, explaining that the students' learning is actually two-fold. First, they are learning through gamification, meaning the concepts from the curriculum have been turned into a game. They are also learning by creating the games, which Marasco explained is called learner generated game based learning. That gives them the chance to understand technical concepts before using the software to create the missions.

 

Questions, comments or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

More Local News

Yellow Vest Movement Appears in Airdrie

The yellow vest movement that started in France last November has been showing up at more and more Canadian events, including the recent United We Roll truck convoy that drove across Canada trying to…

Pitt Officially Kicks Off Campaign With Office Opening

The race is officially on for Airdrie-East UCP hopeful Angela Pitt.

Holmes Makes It Right for Straschnitzki Family

When you're about to undertake a huge renovation project on a home that's to be gutted from top to bottom to accommodate the needs of a young man who faces a changed life after being paralyzed, who…

Cochrane Teacher is Edwin Parr Nominee for RVS

The first thing you must do if you want to build a rapport with your students is to start by developing strong relationships with them.

8 Year Sentence for Semi Driver "Can't Bring Anyone Back" Says Michelle Straschnitzki

The eight-year prison sentence handed down today (March 22) by a judge in Melfort, Saskatchewan to the driver of a semi that killed 16 people and injured 13 others, including an Airdrie teen, last…

Cochrane Teen Missing

Cochrane RCMP is looking for help from the public when it comes to locating missing 14-year-old Faith Scheers.

The Airdrie Food Bank wants your grocery bags

The Airdrie Food Bank is hoping residents will donate any shopping bags they aren’t using.
Photo: Discover Humboldt

Humboldt truck driver sentenced to eight years in prison

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, the Alberta based truck driver responsible for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash that killed 16 people and injured another 13, has been sentenced to 8 years in prison.

Update: Veteran "Near Tears" After LAV Vandalism

The Airdrie LAV III monument that commemorates fallen Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan located next to the Nose Creek Valley Museum has been vandalized.

Chicken Nugget recall

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a recall for a popular brand of chicken nuggets.

DiscoverWestman.com is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login