It is unbelievable to see how technology has advanced since my school days, which were not even that long ago! We got excited to be able to demonstrate our creativity and individuality by using different WordArt functions in Microsoft Word. Our idea of a fun time was to play minesweeper or solitaire on a desktop PC the size of a small country.
Nowadays, school and college goers have access to technology that allows them to enter new worlds every day, to learn new things and to be incredibly creative. Classes are now cleverly interactive which helps engrain the information into the learner’s mind.
We tap into that idea and allow students who attend the Afri-Track course to be able to track their sponsored animal online, from the classroom. The satellite tracking collars that are fitted to the animal operate on both VHF and GPS functionality. This means that researchers can physically go and track the animal in-field with the means of VHF telemetry to get data for the here and now. Additionally, the collar can be set to download data points at set intervals throughout the day. These data points can be accessed online, anytime, anywhere.
This gives us the opportunity for students in another country to be able to log in and see what their sponsored animal has been up to. The students have played an integral role in that animal’s life by sponsoring and witnessing the darting and fitting of the satellite collar, so why allow the adventure to end when they land in Heathrow? We want our Afri-Track participants to feel invested in their conservation experience and feel passionate about doing more. By allowing them to access data points, they can take their African adventure back to the classroom. Students produce reports about the animal’s movements over a given time period which are sent back to the reserve manager in South Africa. Information such as this helps conservation managers to make informed management decisions.
Originally published at www.afri-campus.com on April 10, 2016.