School children around New Zealand will enjoy a more colourful, dynamic and fun experience when using the popular Both Sides of the Fence education website. The site, online at www.bothsidesofthefence.org.nz has been recently upgraded with new and improved features and a more vibrant look overall.
The interactive, curriculum-aligned website was launched by the New Zealand Walking Access Commission in November 2012 and has since been visited by thousands of teachers and students.
The latest changes, which include a new-look home page, improved image gallery and comprehensive teaching materials, have been made following a site review and survey of teachers.
Commission chief executive Mark Neeson said the survey feedback from teachers was invaluable.
“The site review helped us to identify many different areas for improvement. These have been completed and will make the site more engaging for teachers and students. As well as excellent suggestions for improvements, it was heartening to see many positive comments about the website.”
One of the most significant website improvements for teachers is a more user-friendly Teachers’ Space. New classroom activities and resources have been added, as well as curriculum-aligned activities and teaching notes to assist teachers of year 1-3 students to use the site.
The popular eBook has been made more child-friendly and focuses on helping students to understand the messages in the New Zealand Walking Access Commission’s Outdoor Access Code.
Mr Neeson said the commission would endeavour to continue improving the site in coming months by exploring options for additional animated scenarios that reflect the feedback provided by teachers during the site review.
Both Sides of the Fence is a curriculum-aligned website which encourages students up to year 8 to think about responsible behaviour in the outdoors and the value of access to the outdoors, as part of the Kiwi way of life. It supports English and Social Sciences learning areas and EOTC activities, including school camps and field trips.