19th August 2011

Mission:Explore 2.0

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Mission:Explore, one of our GeoVation Challenge winners, have been busy planning missions to encourage children and families to use the National Cycle Network and lots of other exciting stuff too.  Below, Daniel from Mission:Explore tells us more about it.

Things are moving along quickly here at Mission:Explore and we are very excited about the coming year. Winning the support of GeoVation, Ideas in Transit and the University of West England means a brand new Mission:Explore website with lots of beautiful and new functionality.

We won GeoVation funding to improve transport in Britain and specifically the National Cycle Network. Working closely with Sustrans and Arla we are creating challenges and activities that we call ‘missions’ along parts of the cycle network. When people discover these missions (online or through stickers in the landscape) they will be able to win points and earn badges. StorytellerWe will be experimenting to see how this kind of ‘gamification’ can create new uses and users of this important piece of infrastructure. We are very pleased to have Charles Musselwhite, a social psychologist from the University of West England, researching our work and helping us to make this project a success.

Unlike the current Mission:Explore, on the new platform users will have accounts, explorer blogs, leader boards and many other enhanced features.
Mission:Explore will be relaunched as www.MissionExplore.Net this September. We are delighted that National Geographic Education are using the platform to encourage another kind of behaviour change. The US based organisation are using MissionExplore.Net as their central campaigning tool for Geography Awareness Week . The site will be launching with 20 missions (take a look here ) which encourage children, teachers and families to explore their local communities and earn online Mapping, Storytelling, Photography and Take Action! badges. Taking place in November Geography Awareness Week aims to draw attention to the importance Take Action badge 1of ‘geo-literacy, ensuring that people make well reasoned decisions about our nation’s economic competitiveness, national security, environmental sustainability, and the livability of our communities in the 21st century’. We are recently back from the National Conference for Geographic Education in Portland (Oregon) where we trained Geography Awareness Week coordinators in making the best use of Mission:Explore.

Moving forward we will be announcing a new pricing plan in which third sector organisations can create and manage their own ‘channel’ and missions on MissionExplore.Net from just £25 for 1 mission. They can also purchase a ‘white label’ version of the platform for their own use. Any charity or public sector organisation that places an order before the launch of MissionExplore.Net in September will enjoy a 15% discount on any selected plan.

For further details contact Daniel at daniel@thegeographycollective.co.uk.