Learning at 21K: Geography
21K, or 21K School World Campus, is an online high school that provides personalized education for learners and families.
Here is what learning at 21K is all about with the help of a real-life example of Gemma, a 17-year-old full-time learner. She particularly enjoys her geography lessons at 21K, citing the reasons why geography lessons at 21K are more enjoyable.
At 21K, they believe that every learner is unique and should pursue their passions and interests in the proper setting.
Gemma is a full-time learner from Auckland, New Zealand, studying 21K’s international curriculum. Her subjects include English, Biology, Chemistry, and Geography. As part of her Geography lesson, she recently went on a trip conducted by 21K to the Muriwai coastline with her AS Geography facilitator Claire.
She describes her field trip and studying at 21K as follows, “I’m grateful that 21K has given me this opportunity. I think it’s a cool time for me to go and do such a thing, especially because I’m almost finishing school now. I can take this with me when I go to university, and I think it will be beneficial. I like how it works on real-world problems. I got to do a lot of in-depth research, which I wouldn’t get to do in an ordinary classroom, and it was all tailored to me. Most of your learning is done online, so you get time to focus on it. So, yeah, it’s been a perfect adventure.”
The lessons were tailored as per Gemma’s interests. This made her focus on her lessons with entire interest, with never a dull moment while studying them. Her main interest in Geography was to explore dunes. So, she researched how dunes happen, how they are developed, and how waves influence their movement.
Even before the field trip, Gemma and her facilitator Claire properly planned by viewing research videos and collecting second-hand data. With the help of such homework, they prepared their research questions.
When they reached the coastline, Gemma and Claire performed various investigations that would be difficult to carry out were they not physically present at the location. They did experiments at the coastline, like longshore drift, determining the coastline through coastal processes, and learning about sand movement. They surveyed and collected the same data from different locations. They also watched the waves closely and determined how wave processes affect the beach’s physical structure of dunes and sediments.
Here are the different methods they used to collect the data. First, they did a beach profile by using two 1-meter rollers. Next, they used tape and a clinometer to measure beach angles from different points.
Studying geography also requires the use of mathematics principles like trigonometric calculations. In the classroom, they used the data to calculate how steep the beach was. The longshore drift helped them analyze the zig-zag motion of the water and current. With the help of such tests, they could infer the beach area that would be most eroded and build up after some time. Such a study also allowed them to know all such information can be used by council planning to prepare and build sea walls.
The best part is, with all the data, they could also get some insight into climate change. They were able to link how climates change and are linked with the things near the shore. For example, with the help of a wave count study, they could figure out on what days the waves were the most powerful.
In all, Gemma returned with a lot of knowledge that she can use to understand the changes happening in the world, especially related to climate change. She did not only collect data but also learned how to make it to good use and fix things.
learners often learn theoretical knowledge in classrooms without getting near to its use. It is essential to put theoretical knowledge into practice for a better understanding and instil a sense of fulfilment after gaining a particular ability.
With the help of her facilitator Claire, Gemma put her knowledge into practice with the help of a field trip organized by 21K.
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