Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Teaching teachers how to navigate.

Yesterday I had the best opportunity to teach a group of elementary education students at the University of Central Florida.  In three hours, they were taught the history of GPS navigation, the "ins and outs" of the sport of geocaching, and had an opportunity to place a cache and hide a cache.  If you're unfamiliar with sport of Geocaching, this link will tell you all about it, but in short it is high-tech treasure hunting.

A few of the important things mentioned included, that children for the most part are not learning skills in any type of navigation these days, at home or in the classroom.  Putting a GPS receiver in their hands and having them get to know how to use it is the easy part.  Most kids nowadays feel comfortable with electronics and holding an instrument and manipulating the buttons.  Some of the reasons geocaching in the classroom is a special  event, is that it gets them outdoors, they get to explore with some autonomy and most of all they get to find a "treasure".  It doesn't really matter that the treasure is science, social studies or match related, they still enjoy it!

I admire teachers who are using this skill, and going the extra effort with our children to help them learn with innovative methods.  I applaud UCF by including this topic with their education students!

The space below is for including some of the good ideas the students have in implementing GPS into K-6 curriculum.  Please check back to see their ideas!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your presentation today! I had never thought about using a GPS device in the classroom, but really there are many ways to incorporate it. An Ecology Hunt throughout the school grounds would really excite the students. They can navigate in groups to different way points and record information about insects, wildlife, and plants they see there. When the class meets together they create an ecological map of their school. This can also be used during field trips to compare and contrast various environments. Thank you for informing us about a new, fun way to teach students.

-B. Branton

Anonymous said...

Thank you for stopping in to our classroom on Monday! I had a lot of fun. (I even downloaded a free geo-caching application for my smart phone). I would definitely use this in my classroom to teach children about cardinal directions and longitude and latitude lines. I would put points on weekly news letters for students to do with their parents on the weekend. I would also use this at the end of a semester to have a fun treasure hunt. Thank you for coming in again!
~K. Murphy~

Anonymous said...

Thank you for coming in and presenting to our classroom on Monday! I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation and exercise we got to take part in. Never would I have thought that finding an Easter egg with a GPS could be so fun! I now have the geo-caching application on my iPhone for our future projects and my future classroom! I cannot wait to use geo-caching with my future students! Between fun exercises and educational exercises, Elementary students would eat this up! Very thankful you were able to come in and show us just how awesome geo-caching is :)
Thank you again,
R. Connell

Kelli Scott said...

Thank you for taking the time to come to our class and give a presentation on geoching. I have to admit in the begining I didnt know very much about it. Now after hearing your speech and doing some research myself , I feel confident in presenting geoching to my future class. It is a great way to combine learning with exercise! Once again thank you!
K Scott

Kim C said...

Mr. Gus, thank you for opening our eyes to another fun way to teacher our students and getting them out in to the school and community. I had never heard of geocaching, but after talking with a few other students in the class we all thought it was actually quite interesting and fun. So thanks again for coming and demonstrating how geocaching works.

Pamela M said...

Mr. Gus thanks for coming to our class and sharing with us creative activities that we can share with our future students. Your presentation gave me ideas that I can use with my future students such as creating a scavenger hunt and have students use GPS to locate clues/items. I also enjoyed the geocaching; this is something I’m considering doing with my family this summer. Thanks again

Nicole Luciani said...

Mr. Gus thank you so much for coming to our class and teaching us about geocaching. I have never heard of it before and the experience made me want to teach it in my classroom. I think it is a great activity to get students involved in their learning and learn about geography. Thanks again!

Jamie D. said...

I enjoyed having you visit our classroom and introducing us to geocaching! I had never heard of geocaching prior to your visit. I think that it is a great way to get students involved in what they are learning. By using geocaching with elementary students, they will be able to learn about latitude/ longitude and directions while discovering a 'treasure'. I might use geocaching by hiding an item that goes along with the history lesson for the week, much like a time capsule. The students would discover the item and discuss how it relates to the topic they are learning in history. Thanks for coming out and sharing geocaching with us!

Dallas D. said...

Thank you very much for stopping in to share some of your experiences with our class and teaching us about geocaching. I will definitely utilize this in my classroom to actively engage my students in a learning opportunity that teaches real life skills. Thanks again for coming to our class.

Lauren Huhta said...

Thank you, Mr. Gus. Overall, I really enjoyed your presenation two weeks ago. Your presentation about incorporating geocaching was very inspirational to me. It really opened my eyes that my future students will enjoy going on a "treasure hunt" or geocache. I really think this is a great way to integrate geography into students' lives. I might incoporate geogaching for geography in my classroom. For instance, I might develop a geocache that directs the students to different areas of the school. With each post, there will be a more directions to the final treasure. Each post could develop on certain key points in the lesson to build up to the finale treasure! How exciting!

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and ideas with us. I really learned a lot.

-Lauren Huhta from UCF Daytona

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