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

Advertisements

Technology Inquiry Project, Post #3: Tree Mapping

For this blogpost I decided to explore one of the references that Bethany had listed in her previous post. More specifically, an academic article titled, “Local Tree Mapping: A Collaborative, Place-Based Activity Integrating Science, Technology, Math, and Geography” by Erica Blatt. I was instantly hooked. This insightful article provides detailed instruction and an abundance of resources concerning how to conduct tree mapping as a class.

What makes tree-mapping so awesome?

  • It’s inquiry-based; thereby fits perfectly into the new BC curriculum.
  • It can be adjusted for students grades five through twelve.
  • It promotes place-based education and real-world experiences.
  • Students work together to accomplish a common goal.
  • Technology is integrated into nature to enhance student learning.

In short, what are students getting out of this activity?
*Grade-level dependent*

  • Experience collecting data on tree type, height, diameter, age, and the longitude and latitude.
  • A means for identifying various local tree species.
  • Ability to analyze and present real-world data that can be utilized by the local community.
  • Basic skills in geographical information systems (ie. GPS) and Microsoft Excel.
  • Understanding and appreciation for the role of trees within the Earth’s ecosystems.
  • Inquiry skills in science, mathematics, and geography, as well as problem solving, critical thinking and collaborative skills.

This article is proof that when technology and the great outdoors are combined, some really interesting doors suddenly open. Tree mapping is only one of many wonderful possibilities. I look forward to discovering more ways to apply technology outside to create meaningful learning opportunities for students.

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!

Video Editing, Screen Capturing & Audio Editing

Today I had the opportunity to familiarize myself with some really cool online tools! First, I learned how to trim & split, add transitions, create titles and credits, and adjust audio using iMovie. Next, I learned how to record, import audio, trim & split, and add sound effects using GarageBand. Finally, I learned how to screen capture using Screencastify. All of these tools were straightforward and fun to use!

I think they would be helpful for both students and teachers in and out of the classroom. This article describes 6 ways to enhance students learning using iMovie. Likewise, this article emphasizes why GarageBand shouldn’t be limited to music teachers and shares some other classroom uses, such as reading. Last but not least, this article explains some interactive screencasting activities to be completed using Screencastify. You can find a brief video of my Screencastify experience below (I didn’t add any sound because the computer lab was loud with excitement)!

Categories

Just trying to add some categories here…