Catch up with Mission:Explore with this update from Daniel Raven-Ellison:
12 days ago we released our new Mission:Explore website, since then we have watched as young and old(er) explorers have accepted, completed and then reported a wide range of missions. People have been photographing where the ‘wild’ is taking over from civilization, designing memorials and earning rewards for doing so. One explorer (Sir Spiffington) has already created his own website which includes a great animation and a funny film, all inspired by the new site.
Making the Mission:Explore website is a continual process. The funding that we won 5 months ago through GeoVation from Ideas in Transit and the Technology Strategy Board has allowed us to implement a number of significant features. These include:
- Partner accounts which let other organisations create their own challenges;
- Scoring and leaderboards, which will soon also include groups;
- An extras box on mission pages which includes QR codes that can be scanned for quick access to the relevant page along with a widget which can sit on other websites;
- Explorer profile pages so that users can keep track of started and completed missions, their points and keep an explorer log;
- A content management system for creating, risk checking, tagging, scoring and publishing missions;
- A split community with those not logged in and aged 12 or under not being able to see user generated content and missions which are rated for older users.
National Geographic Education are already using the site for their work in promoting geography awareness week. I presented on Mission:Explore for teachers supporting National Geographic in Portland in August and you can see the videos from this here . Love Forest, OPAL, Priory School, the Geographical Association and many others are currently live on Mission:Explore or soon will be.
The core of the GeoVation work is to see how Mission:Explore can be used to increase the number of family leisure users on the National Cycle Network. Crucially, we want them to come back too. We are working with Sustrans not only to create the challenges but also to monitor user numbers in the field. An additional component is a the work we are doing within the project for the dairy company Arla. Arla want to bring a wide range of children Closer to Nature and we are bringing all of this together by using Mission:Explore and the National Cycle Network to draw young people out of sub-urban areas an into ‘nature spaces’. Our first trial will take place in Berkshire next month and we will be using our findings from this work to decide our following steps.
Last week we were lucky enough to be invited by the Technology Strategy Board to have a stand at Innovate ’11, the innovation networking event and exhibition. This is an example of the one of the unexpected benefits of working with GeoVation that has been a great help to our work. Innovate ’11 is was an awesome event and one that I would recommend you attend in the future if you are interested in cutting-edge innovation and creativity. At Innovate much of the interest in Mission:Explore was for rebranding it so that organisations or regions could have their own bespoke versions.
We are now at a stage where we are looking for GeoVators to GeoVate with us. We have a limited number of free accounts on Mission:Explore which can be used by charities and public sector organisations to create games, hunts, trails, learning activities and more. If you or someone you know would be interested in this offer they should email us at email@example.com to find out more.
We will be blogging again next month with an update on our work to increase users of the National Cycle Network.
You can become an explorer on Mission:Explore for free by visiting www.missionexplore.net.