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Documenting Turkey with a GoPro

Donald Mcguire Jr., Senior Instructional Associate with the University at Buffalo Classics department, and his students visited the church of Ayasofia (Hagia Sophia) in Istanbul, Turkey during January 2016. They documented the trip using a GoPro provided by UBIT.

By Dan Hartman

Published May 26, 2016

Dan Hartman (UB Student, Class of 2016) was born in Rochester, NY. He transferred to UB after earning an Associate’s Degree at Monroe Community College and is working towards completing his Bachelor’s in Communication. Dan hopes to become a screenwriter someday. In his free time, he enjoys working out, eating cereal, and spending time with his friends.

The best learning environment isn’t always the classroom…it’s out in the field.

Ionic temple in Didyma, Turkey

In January 2016, Don McGuire, a Senior Instructional Associate of the Classics Department at UB, and his students from his "Global Cities in the 21 Century, Istanbul" course traveled to Turkey for a first-hand educational experience. This year’s trip wasn’t the first time McGuire’s class visited Turkey, but it was the first trip to be well-documented with a GoPro.

"The experience my students get in Turkey cannot simply be taught through a textbook," Don said. "It’s a nicely integrated curriculum. The students’ jaws drop the entire trip."

The trip began with four days of basic introduction to the city of Istanbul followed by an eight-day journey across Western Turkey to explore modern and ancient cities. Afterwards, the group returned to Istanbul for another eight days. At the suggestion of Vice President and Chief Information Officer J. Brice Bible, Don chose to document his trip with a GoPro to accurately capture the experience.

 "I’m very grateful to UB Information Technology for making the technology available," Don added. "I think one of the best sites that we filmed was an archaeological site called Assos, which has a Greek temple from the 6th century BCE. It is set on top of a hill, looking across the Aegean to the Greek island of Lesbos just a couple of miles away. It is truly spectacular. Also, in terms of interior shots, the great Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia, which is now a museum, turned out well."

High/late Roman period condominiums in Ephesus, Turkey

With a variety of technologies available, UBIT News asked Don what made the GoPro the best choice. "The dynamics of the GoPro are intriguing, it is so convenient for capturing voice and vision. It’s much easier to handle than a camera or microphone," Don said. "It’s also really useful for recruiting students into these programs."

Don hopes UB will recognize the educational value of GoPro. "Innovative technology is essential for students to achieve academic success," he added. "The GoPro is a new form of technology not yet implemented into the mainstream educational system. The more we can do to bring GoPro’s into the classroom, the better off UB is," Don stated.

Ayasofia (Hagia Sophia), Istanbul, Turkey
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High/late Roman period condominiums, Ephesus, Turkey
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Ionic temple, Didyma, Turkey
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