Geocaching

Common search terms (and or) tags:(#teachgps, #geocaching, #geocache, #gps, #geolocation, #educaching)

What do we, as a group, know about Geocaching?

Enter your thoughts to share on this shared Google Doc

What Is Geocaching?

You could describe Geocaching as a kind of orienteering, scavenger hunt or treasure hunt and you be almost right on all counts.
This Youtube video sums it up rather nicely.


You will find a lot more specific information about Geocaching at www.geocaching.com (and www.geocaching.com.au, but stay with ~.com)

The basic form of geocaching is to 1) find a hidden box or cache using a GPS enabled device, 2) sign a log book contained in the cache and then 3) report your find, usually in writing, usually online. However, these days there are many different variations of geocaching activities turning up online and being used particiularly in student learning. One such variation is Letterboxing. New ideas are popping up all the time such as this novel which includes GPS locations to some of the places in the book.

This article gives a nice overview of geocaching as a hobby/sport.

What do Schools Use Geocaching for?

Thank you Sue Zipfinger from SCEGGS Darlinghurst for sharing . Nice one, Sue!


Kinds of Geocaching

There are many kinds of Geocaching and variations of the idea as well. Some commons types are...
  • Using a GPS device (Traditional, Multi-Cache, Puzzle Cache, Event Cache)
  • QR code driven
  • Virtual Cache
  • Reverse Cache
  • Podcache (particularly good for the final leg of a geocaching activity if it moves inside a building).
  • Movable Cache (an example of which you can find here)

Getting Started with your students step-by-step

If you want to show the students your iPad or iPhone etc, I used Reflection
Install reflection on your computer https://www.reflectionapp.com/
Open reflection on your PC
In the little notifications area near the time and volume is Reflection
R Click and make setting adjustments as you want

Now, on iPhone or iPad,
Double click home button and slide all way to the left and choose the little arrow up icon


Before you go and get busy making your first Geocache, there a few things you need to do first.
1. Register for free on www.geocaching.com
2. Go and find a few geocaches in your local area (either close to your home or school)
3. Take particular notice of the location and method of the way these caches have been hidden.
4. If you intend to take students geocaching to a location listed on the geocahing website. make sure YOU HAVE FOUND THE CACHE FIRST!!. This is important as you do not want students to be placed in a location which could be unsafe. This is of particular concern if students are busy reading their GPS and not looking where they are going (a good reason to work in pairs or groups as well).

What do Geocaches look like?

They can look like anything as this blogpost shows, however, standard Geocaches are usually clearly labelled and come in containers like these... (the smallest size is known as a micro or nano cache)
external image log-cache-1_500.gif
external image decon-container_500_1.gif
external image Sneaky-Geocache-4.jpg
external image 3511362515_c030a4e35c.jpg
external image tupperware%20geocache.jpg
external image 3512172458_1301a8c935.jpg

Making your own Cache

So you want to do some geocaching with your students? Here's how you can get started....
Read Getting started with Geocaching - Hiding your first cache
1. Start with syllabus outcomes (remember Geocaching has connections to all manner of curriculum areas). You could put subject specific research questions in your cache(s) as well.
2. Decide on a type of geocaching activity... GPS, QR Code or Virtual cache? This will be largely determined by what if any devices you have for students to use.
3. Document what the students will do in the activity and the information they will uncover.
4. Prepare and hide your cache if you are creating a physical cache. Think about using QR codes or some other way of students check in to the Internet for information.
5. Plan an assessment. Perhaps this will incorporate a student reflection in the form of a blogpost, podcast or Voicethread.
6. Before you allow students to try the activity show them the basic terrain using Google maps or equivalent.
7. Make sure that each student has a kit (GPS device, pen to record name on log, gloves or torches or other necessary equipment).

Making your own Cache with Augmented Reality

Aurasma was the app we used to marry video to an image
Look at Aurasma on YouTube
Download Aurasma from app store or Google Play. It's free.
Visit https://studio.aurasma.com/home

Creating a Geocaching experience in powerpoint

First, do this on your computer
1. Create the powerpoint
2. Create a dropbox account (dropbox.com)
3. Save the PowerPoint to the Public folder of dropbox
4. Right click > DropBox > Copy public link pptgc.jpg
5. Now, this link can be emailed to students, or
6. Use tiny URL http://tinyurl.com/ to convert it to something easy
Now, students, on their device
7. Open a browser
8. Go to the address from step 6 above
9. PowerPoint will open for them on their device

Mobile Phone, iPod and iPad Apps for Geocaching Activities



Handy Tools


Creating virtual trips in Google Earth


Glossary

See also Glossary of Terms on Geocaching.com and Glossary on the Wikipedia entry on Geocaching
  • Geocaching - the sport of navigating to a hidden cache using a GPS device
  • Cache - hidden endpoint of a geocaching expedition
  • Locationless or Reverse cache - find a named location and then log the co-ordinates when you arrive. Often photographic evidence is also required of the geocachers successful arrival at the cache.
  • Virtual cache - geocachers find an object via clues and co-ordinates, there is no physical cache. Photographic proof of the object such as a monument, plaque etc is required as evidence of a find.
  • Micro cache - a very small cache of approximately 85gms/ 100ml usually of a size too small to hold anything other than a log or tiny objects such as charms. Film canisters are often used as micro caches.
  • Webcam cache - Similar to a virtual cache. the idea of the webcam cache is to get your image recorded by the webcam (this may require a friend to take a picture for you when you arrive).
  • Waymark/ waypoint - a stopping point or endpoint on a geocaching journey.
  • Multi-Cache - A multi cache usually involves two or more locations. Hints at the first location help lead the seeker to the final physical chance.

Geocaching web sites for reference:



Useful links

Geocaching Scoopit page created and curated by Mike Stevens
Geocaching with a Garmin Oregon by Wahroonga Farm
Groundspeak Geocaching in Education Forums
Geotalk the Podcast for Geocachers 'Down Under'
Maccaching This software connects your Garmin or Magallen based GPS receiver to OS X. Think of MacCaching like iTunes, but for Geocaches
How to read GPS coordinates
http://street-map.net.au/gps/ recommended by Emilio
Alice Leung's Blog has a particular focus on game-based learning and she has used Aris with her students.
Jonesytheteacher (Brendan Jones) Blog Geo-caching treasure hunt using QR codes blogpost
Mr P Keirnan (pkk) Blog Year 11 Girls PE Class Blog
Jordan McFarlane's PE Blog Fitness caching blogpost
Google Maps images tend to be older. NearMaphas more current pictures
Sue mentioned this ISTE site that looks at GPS and Geocaching in Education this morning

Google Earth Links