Technology Inquiry Project, Post #7: QuestaGame & Geocaching for Students

As we reach the end of our assignment, Beth and I are getting eager to head outside with our digital devices. We wanted to try playing QuestaGame and go Geocaching, however, it looks like we’re only going to have time for one.

QuestaGame

Here is brief video outlining how QuestaGame works.

1. Download the app.
2. Capture photos of your outdoor surroundings.
3. Receive expert feedback on sightings.
4. Collect individually, challenge friends, and have fun!

I really like this game because sightings are shared with biodiversity record organizations to help researchers on their quest to save the planet. So not only are participants actively outside learning in real-time about nature, but they’re actually contributing to something far bigger than themselves. Moreover, this is a game that can be enjoyed individually or in groups via features like the winner-takes-all “Challenges.”

Geocaching

I’m going to make this description a little bit more detailed because SURPRISE.. Beth and I are going geocaching!

This video outlines how to find a geocache.

1. Download the app.
2. Research clues using geocache’s name and description.
3. Check difficulty rating (mental exertion).
4. Check terrain rating (physical exertion).
5. Decide how you’re going to get there.
6. Once your phone says your within 20-30ft of geocache, search with your hands and eyes.
7. You found it! Sign the log-book, trade swag + trackables, put it back, and log your find online.
8. Repeat!

Pro-tips:

  • Geocaches will never be buried. Check in trees, on metal objects for magnets and under sticks. If you still can’t find it, think “If I hid a geocache here, where would I put it?”
  • If you’re still totally lost, check the most recent activity and hints on the app.
  • Bring a pen!

GeocachingEDU

This totally awesome website shares a wide variety of resources that makes introducing geocaching to students a breeze. You can even download a PowerPoint presentation on “Geocaching 101” here. The website also has brochures and posters, but what I found most useful is this blog! Teachers and parents provide tips and tricks on how they’ve incorporated geocaching into their learners’ agendas and it looks like a blast. I mean, what kids don’t want to hunt for treasure?! As for curricular opportunities, one teacher creates academic puzzles for Science, Math, Music, History, Art, and English. However, that’s just one way to do it. I thought another cool idea would be to include QR codes on hidden items to share more knowledge with students. Check out the blog and see what appeals to you.

I can’t wait to go geocaching and see what it’s all about for myself!

Photo by Settergren / CC BY

Minecraft in the Classroom

Today, Colquitz Middle School teacher Heidi James and her students met us in the computer lab to help us discover why Minecraft is such an awesome learning tool! It was a truly wonderful experience to learn from such enthusiastic and passionate students. My ten-year-old sister plays Minecraft at home and I’ve never put a whole lot of thought into what kind of skills the game actually entails. Let me tell you, it’s a lot more difficult than I expected. Even basic movements like walking and jumping were challenging at first. The idea of building houses and worlds seemed impossible. However, with the help of Heidi and her students I finished our time together with a solid understanding of the controls. More importantly, I learned how Minecraft can fulfill and exceed curricular competencies in Math, Science and Social Studies. Not to mention develop social skills since the game is highly collaborative. Learning and playing in class today made me realize why I need to bring Minecraft into my future classrooms. I can’t wait to go home and play with my sister! Thanks Heidi and students, you rock!

Some handy resources from today include:
https://worlds.education.minecraft.net/
https://education.minecraft.net/class-resources/science-subject-kit/

Technology Inquiry Project, Post #1: Bridging the Gap

Bethany and I have started to generate some ideas for our Tech Inquiry Project! We decided to explore what roles (if any) networking technologies can play in outdoor education. At first glance, networking technology and outdoor education seem like binary opposites. I remember watching TV while my mom lectured me about how kids nowadays spend way too much darn time looking at screens, before forcing me to go play outside. More recently, I’ve noticed that even the thought of incorporating networking technology into everyday classroom practices often triggers a moral dilemma for some of my peers in the BEd program. On the other hand, I’ve never heard anybody complain about children spending too much time outside. So the question remains: Is networking technology the arch nemesis of outdoor education, kidnapping children from authentic, real world experiences and interactions? Bethany and I want to bridge this gap by discovering purposeful ways for students to enjoy both simultaneously. Follow us on our journey as we dig up research and even put activities like Geocaching and QuestaGame to the test. Until next week!

Categories

Just trying to add some categories here…