View from Glenlivet;Letter

8th January 1999 at 00:00
IT WAS pleasing that Bryan Ryalls (TESS, December 4) found the video and commentary in the Crown Estate's educational pack based on the Glenlivet Estate stimulating and of relevance to Higher geography applications.

I was, however, disappointed with his comments concerning the accompanying CD which has now been distributed by the Higher Still Development Unit. The CD was never intended to provide a multimedia, interactive package, much as I would have liked the budget and the time to produce one.

Initially, when the concept of the package was being developed by myself and Bob O'Brien, former Grampian environmental education adviser, it was planned to produce a paper-based resource which provided a detailed synopsis of the Glenlivet Estate.

We realised that much of this information would have little relevance to schools unable to carry out fieldwork on the estate and would be beyond the needs of most Higher students. So it was decided to provide additional information which could be used with other material already in schools, and the text was developed to fill an apparent need for up-to-date information on land use in the Highlands.

This element of the package was designed mainly as a resource for teachers. To help teachers select relevant parts, the HSDU supported production of a teachers' guide, which outlines how the package and CD can be used.

It was decided to transfer the test and information on to the CD-Rom to allow easier distribution and for teachers to print the most useful parts of the package.

The CD was therefore not produced as a stand-alone resource or a multimedia tool. It was not intended to be used "unguided" by Higher students and I can understand why Mr Ryalls feels it would be dull and lifeless if used in this way.

I hope that teachers will view the overall resource very favourably, making use of all its elements - or better still, organising a visit to Glenlivet to study the estate at first hand, as the CD suggests.

Andrew Wells Glenlivet Estate head ranger Main Street Tomintoul Banffshire

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