Thursday, September 15, 2011

UCF Pre-Service Teachers Learn All About GPS In The Classroom


I had the greatest experience working with Instructor, Shloe Kerness of the University of Central Florida teaching Elementary Pre-Service teachers all about GPS receivers, classroom navigation and Geocaching. I felt the classroom portion moved along quite well, and we had fun in the field looking for secret locations!  A few important points I failed to give appropriate attention to include:
Hands-On Activities In The Woods!
  • Space Coast Geocachers, who are very active in Brevard County and throughout Florida.  In fact, they manage the one and only geocaching retail store known to most of us in the sport!
  • In navigation, a GPS receiver can, usually does, but SHOULDN'T EVER be solely relied upon as the only navigational tool.  A well studied map and compass should always be kept near by.
  • Besides Geocaching.com, some of my other favorite related sites include: Waymarking, which builds a "geocaching" database of virtual sites such as historical markers, landmarks, interesting scenic views, etc.  My other favorite, but not as popular is the Degree Confluence Project which has snapshots of every corner of the globe, and has just celebrated its 15th anniversary.


Keep up the great work and be sure to interact with your colleagues in class and those you meet in Extension.  Throughout the US and Florida, teachers are utilizing GPS receivers and geocaching to teach all of the core subjects, while at the same time inspiring their students to increase their knowledge of science, math and of course - outdoor education!
Mr. Gus

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gus,

I would like to start off by thanking you for visiting our UCF class and teaching my classmates and I ways to implement scavenger hunts and technology together in the classroom. I have to be honest, at first the idea of Geo-caching did not appeal to me that much. But after the demonstrations, activity, and examples of types of Geo-caching, I have come to like the idea of Geo-caching. I plan to use the new knowledge that you shared with my class today into my future classroom. I was also concerned with the idea that elementary school aged children may not know how to work GPS but after talking with a few classmates, I have found out that their children love to Geo-cache. I think it is important to use fun, hands on activities in order to fully engage students in the learning process and I think that Geo-caching is certainly a great way in doing so! Thank you again.

Rachel Chmura

Anonymous said...

Mr Gus,
Your presentation on Geo-caching today was very interesting. I honestly had never heard of it. Of course scavenger hunts are something we did as children and enjoyed thoroughly. Geo-caching brings scavenger hunts to a whole new level. I can just imagine the childrens excitement at the thought of doing this activity at school. It is amazing how many subject areas you could implement Geo-caching into. I am also not the most tech savy person and was very impressed at how easy the GPS is to use. Thank you so much for sharing this with our class.

Bina Busing

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gus,
I hadn't heard of geocaching before last week. I was curious and looked at some information about it before class. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. You gave an excellent presentation. I wish we could of spent more time doing searches! I can think of many different applications for my future classroom. Thank you for the inspiration.
Daune Ellis

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gus,

Thank you so much for coming into our classroom to teach us about geocaching. Quite honestly, I had never heard of the sport before. But after your presentation, I cannot wait to try it out and to incorporate it into my future classroom! There are so many subjects that can be integrated into one lesson while geocaching. Science, social studies, math and even language arts can all be used at once; especially if a riddle is used. This helps students get out of the context of the classroom and provides a great and healthy hobby even outside of school. Thank you so much for your presentation!

-Jerrica Hainsel

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gus,

Thank you for you presentation today. I really learned a lot about geocashing and how to use it the classroom. I actually went home and signed up for a geocashing account, and can’t wait to go on my first geocashing with my children.
Thanks,
Adam Thomason

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gus,
Thank you for coming to our class. I appreciated your presentation because it was informative and hands-on. I think we need to remember, as teachers, that students need to get up and move during school. I like how geocaching can incorporate so many different learning styles. There's reading, math, geography, and many other elements within the activity. I think I will expose my students to geocaching as a way of looking at the landscape and how people can interact with it.
Thanks again,
Elizabeth Gannon

Jesse said...

Mr. Gus,

I enjoyed your visit to our class. I hadn't considered incorporating geocaching into the social studies, it just never occurred to me. I think creating a lesson that involves geocached items in the fields behind the school (places students already go for PE) would be a fun and interesting activity for the kids. Perhaps stretching the activity out to a number of days. We could start with a lesson on paper maps (maybe something made up by me) that the students use to find geocached items. The next day, we could do the same activity with GPS units. They will see the advantages of the GPS but will have built a background knowledge of how to use a map as a backup.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gus,
Thank you so much for coming to UCF and teaching our class all about geocaching. I had never geocached before, and I wasn't sure how I could implement it in my future classroom. However, you provided us with thorough instructions on how to implement student-friendly lessons that involved using a GPS device. I think that teaching a lesson on navigation through use of longitude and latitude, but by uisng a GPS unit, would really engage students in the activity. My fiance and I are also going to start geocaching when we travel together.
Thanks again for the awesome information!

Sincerely,
Crystal Pleasanton

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gus,

Thank you so much for coming to our class! Before your presentation I had no idea what geocaching was, but now I can’t wait to go on a real search and find some treasure. I like how you used clues to guide us in finding the right spots, and I think it would be fun to use riddles in a classroom to help guide students to their locations. I could see myself incorporating geocaching hunts into a variety of subjects. Students could even have to solve problems at each location in order to get a clue, or coordinates for their next location. The possibilities seem endless with geocaching. I’m also going to New Mexico very shortly, and I hope to maybe find a geocache out there. Thanks again for your presentation, and introducing me to the concept of geocaching!

- Tina Monteleone

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr. Gus,

Thank your for introducing me to the wonderful world of geocaching. I am looking forward to using the GPS navigation systems in my future classroom.

I think I may try to do assign secret lessons in my classroom, possibly hide "essay" topics in the nearby woods...

Thanks for the presentation.

Kristin Culbreth

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr. Gus!

Thank you so much for taking your time to come and visit our UCF classroom! Your lecture was informative and the practice using the GPS was interesting. I do not know if I would feel comfortable using geocaching in an elementary classroom; I think I would need more practice myself, before instructing 20 third graders on how to use the GPS! :)

Even though I am not very confident in my ability to lead a classroom of children in a geocach, I would definitely like to try doing this with my husband! We enjoy the outdoors, hiking, and camping and I think this would be a great addition to those activities.

Thank you aging for visiting, I learned a lot and I hope to learn even more through practice.

Lynlee Cheaney

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr. Gus!
Thank you for coming into our classroom last week! I had never heard of geocaching before our class presentation and am glad I now know! I would love to do some geocaching in my free time. I however plan to teach kindergarten and if I would use this in classroom I would have parents come in to help me and do small groups much as like we did in class. I hope to use this activity in my class some day! Thank you!
Holly Cook

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gus,
I appreciate you coming to our classroom and sharing your knowledge of geocaching with our class.This would be a great tie into a Social Studies lesson. The students would enjoy doing something different and hands-on. I am going to check out some of the websites in our area and make a date night with my husband. Thank you for coming!
Andrea Stoner

Adam Waugh said...

Mr Gus,
I want to thank you for visiting our classroom and teaching us about geocaching, 4-H org, and all the other cool items that you're invovled in. The knowledge and information that you provided me and my fellow classmates is much appreciated and will be utilized in the near future. Thanks again for educating future teachers about this amazing organization and its benefits.

Adam Waugh

Sarah Northway said...

Mr. Gus!

Thank you for coming to our class and showing us about geocaching. I have geocached before and I really enjoyed it but after a while I pushed it aside and eventually forgot about it. I am so glad that you came to our class and reminded me how much I love geocaching and informing us that we could borrow devices for our future classrooms. I felt a sense of pride since I had geocached before and I hope when I introduce this to my future students they will carry it on throughout their lives and see the world through a new perspective.

Thank you again,

Sarah Northway

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gus,
Thank you so much for taking the time to come into our classroom. I had never heard of geocaching till you introduced it to us in class. I think it's an awesome activity to incorporate into a lesson. Kids always look forward to new and fun activities and I had a lot of fun learning about it.
Thanks again!

Summer Queisi

Courtney St. Denis said...

I loved learning about Geo-caching. Thank you so much for coming and sharing with our classroom at UCF in Cocoa! I think teaching children to navigate their surroundings is a great way to give them a spark of interest in geography. It was great to learn about these valuable resources teachers have available to them! I hope to set up a geocache for my students in the future.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for coming to our class and teaching us about geocaching. It was interesting learning about something I have never heard about. I thought I would share a lesson idea I had if I ever got to incorporate this in my future classroom.

There can be many ways that a teacher may choose to use geocaching in a lesson plan. One way that instantly came to mind is about 3rd-4th grade level that ties in social studies. If you decide to teach about a time in history that ties into today and what we know, for example pirates, etc. You can make a modern day twist on it. You can have “treasure” hidden. What would make it interesting is if you can get enough chaperones and approval for a field trip to a local park like Wickham park that is big enough to hide things but also safe. After the lesson plan and then teaching the students how to use the devices give them coordinates. Tell them it is like the modern day map whereas pirates had to use paper maps and the drawings on them, we can use these to find our “treasure”. Only allowing the chaperones to keep an eye on the students, let them try to find the “treasure” and maybe have clues in the boxes they find to help them find the next one all in pirate speech. This can get them excited about what they have learned about history but also incorporate modern day technology.

thanks again

~Danielle Murray

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Gus,
Thank you so much for showing us how to incorporate fun into our classrooms! I loved that you used geocaching as an example for learning how to teach GPS devices, compasses, and longitude and latitude. Not only will these skills be needed later in the lives of our students but geocaching is a fun activity that anyone can participate in! That being said, I really think that this sort of activity would be best suited for middle school and high school students, unless each group of elementary students had a chaperone. I just don't know how much learning would actually get done with full reign of the school. All in all I think we would have benefited from a tiny bit more instruction on using the GPS device before being sent out on our own. I know my group at least got a little turned around and lost, but it was still a ton of fun.
Thank you!
~Lauren Weber

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Gus,
I really appreciate the time you spent in our classroom last week. I had a lot of fun going outside and learning about your GPS devices, but the part of your presentation I enjoyed the most was just hearing your positions on teaching children. It seems like you have a real passion for education, and it shows in your work, and the way you talk about 4-H. In my future classroom I could see using geo-caching for some fun activities. I think it would be fun to hide treasures in your school yard, and strategically place them so that when mapped out on google earth, they would form the outline of America. You could show the students all the points they visited on google earth, and begin a fun geography lesson based on geo-caching. Thanks again for the fun lesson!
-Bobby Dyar

Dana said...

Mr. Gus,
Thank you for coming to my UCF class. I had never heard of geocaching before your class. Your explination and hands on search made it less intimidating. I would definitley use geocaching as part of my social studies class. I think the students would love something new and going on a treasure hunt. It is a fun way to make learning fun.
Thank you,
Dana Barrial

Anonymous said...

I would like to start by thanking you for joining our class at UCF. I loved learing about geocaching. I have actually signed up on the geocaching website and look forward to doing some caching in the Bahamas. I plan to use this tool in my future classroom. I learned that you can use this for more then just social studies. I can make it a science lesson or really any lesson I want. I thought you were wonderful, the way you spoke about this, you could tell you were passionate.
Thank you again for sharing geocaching with us.
Jennifer Blank

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gus,
Thank you so much for visiting our UCF Cocoa classroom last Wednesday, I had a lot of fun. I had never heard of geocaching until then and was excited to start. Once I felt comfortable navigating the GPS device, I felt like I was on a real-life treasure hunt! I believe geocaching is a wonderful hands-on learning opportunity and could be useful for ESOL students as well. Working together can provide a greater sense of team work and self-esteem, while contributing to a group assignment. I hope to use geocaching in my future teaching career and in my personal life, too.
Thanks again,
Amber Hughes

Anonymous said...

Since your visit, I have been trying to find a means to use the GPS receivers which is valuable and makes good use of the receivers further than the discussion on mapping, coordinates, or the technology itself. Today, I believe I thought of something: marking locations for ecological testing sites on campus. This serves first to log sample sites by creating a waypoint attached to each sample. As well, instruments such as thermometers and rain gauges placed around campus by the students can easily be recorded and later found by this or other classes.

Glad you came in because I always look for ways to get the classroom out of the classroom, and this is such an obvious means which helps inform students about the importance of proper records.

Thanks,
Zachary Laschober

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking your time to further us in our education about how we can make learning fun for our future students. I had never even heard of Geocaching before you came in last week but I seemed to pick up on it right away. I am a very active person and am always looking for ways to get up and move around and now I have learned how I can do that while teaching my students aswell.
Thanks Again,
Scott DeFillippo

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great information about geocaching and how to implement it with students. I feel that this is an activity that students will thoroughly enjoy as well learn from in a fun hands-on way. This will definitely be an activity that I try with my students in the future.

Thank you,
Caitlyn Eskew

Anonymous said...

Mr.Gus,
Thank you so much for visiting our class. I enjoyed learning about Geocaching and look forward to utilizing it in my own classroom. I think this is perfect no matter the age and think it can be integrated in any curriculum. I can only imagine how far one can go with Geocaching! I would have many uses for Geocaching not only for social studies but for language arts, science, and math. I was really interested in maybe introducing Geocaching to my mother, a teacher at Mims Elementary, and her teammates. I hope I can have them participate in a Geocaching themed unit. Again, I can’t express my gratitude enough and I look forward to putting Geocaching into action!

Brianna Branham

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