At Mackenzie School of English we are always looking for new ways to enhance and improve our activity programmes, ensuring that students get the very best out of their time in Edinburgh with us.
In 2016, we were very excited to embark on a new project with an award winning App Development Company called WildGoose. The aim was to develop our very own range of Mackenzie School of English interactive GPS challenges, which are played on iPad minis. Each game is designed to engage, educate and inspire our Young Learner students whilst out and about on cultural visits. They provide lots of fun and use up to date technology.
Every student that comes to Mackenzie School on one of our study stays in Edinburgh gets an opportunity to participate in at least one of our bespoke challenges using our own fleet of iPads. Depending on the programme they choose, they may use them more than once. At the moment we have 3 games: ‘Get to Know Edinburgh’, ‘Royal Mile Tour’, and ‘Dean Village & Stockbridge’ but we are currently developing one for Edinburgh Castle and another for The National Museum of Scotland.
During city tours and cultural visits, small teams of students (up to four max.) are provided with an iPad mini featuring an assortment of informative and entertaining challenges specific to the visit. We have created 3 levels of difficulty so even students with limited knowledge of English can play. Each challenges is GPS enabled and allow students to learn about their surroundings whilst answering questions and completing photo and video tasks along the way.
During the activity and as the students play, their answers, photos and completed video tasks are automatically sent back to our control board computer back at school. At the end and on returning to school, we are able to present the groups with their answers, statistics and look at their photos and watch the videos they submitted. This also offers an opportunity to do group feedback and have a discussion on what they liked most and gets them talking. We can also burn CDs for each group or send the results to social media. Students love the fact that they can see what they did, how their friends got on and conclude the activity at this way, which we believe adds to their memories of the experience at Mackenzie School.
We are proud to say that we are the only English Language School organisation in the UK using this technology at the moment and so far the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.