- Hits: 2134
Written by Ravi Kumar
Whatever happened to that nerd-tastic hobby called Geocaching? The high-tech game of hide and seek still has around 5 million users worldwide if Wikipedia is accurate. But some education start-ups are looking at ways to use the same GPS technology as a way to make learning fun by linking GPS devices to curriculum. The timing is right, given that GPS apps like Google Maps and others now often come standard on smart phones and readers like iPads.
Recently, Apisphere, Inc., the company behind Geomate. jr, an easy to use GPS-based geocaching device collaborated with SDG Creations, Ltd. to enable teachers and students to actively learn through what they call “geocaching.”
Educaching, a GPS based curriculum for Educators would like you to believe that learning is like treasure hunting or geocaching.
"The curriculum combined with the Geomate.jr guides teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) based, GPS scavenger hunts that engage students in teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking and exercise in a fun learning environment," said Jason Hubbard, teacher and author of the Educaching GPS based curriculum.
Read the entire article at www.wiredacademic.com.
- Written by twolpert
- Hits: 2738
Pictured: L Frank, Denmother, Mikeinmo, Crowesfeat30, Repmul, Strider, Quailman2 (both of them), twolpert, javapgmr
On Saturday, November 19, ten SLAGA members went on a group hunt. A power trail? Reliving the glory of MOGAs past? Not so much. Most of us drove 190 miles each way - and one of us came from Iowa - to find a single cache. And it was worth it!
- Written by Denmother
- Hits: 2585
The National Wildlife Federation and Ranger Rick magazine want to encourage families to spend more time having fun in the great outdoors.
Ranger Rick’s Geocache Trails are a great new way to inspire curiosity and learning about the natural world, while providing the satisfaction of seeking and finding hidden “treasure.” The program is designed to be fun for first-time or experienced geocachers.
Geocache trails allow land managers to provide a well-rounded experience for the geocacher. Hosting a Ranger Rick’s Geocache Trail can help attract new audiences, connect people with nature, offer a new kind of adventure at your facility, and show off your property!
- Ranger Rick’s Geocache Trails contain either 3, 5, or 8 geocaches to be hidden around your property, for geocachers to find.
- Each geocache on your trail will have its own web page on geocaching.com.
- Before setting out for their adventure, kids and parents will download your trail's coordinates to a GPS unit or smartphone from geocaching.com. There they will also download a Ranger Rick’s passport. When geocachers find one of your caches, they will sign Ranger Rick’s log book, found inside. Each geocache also features a Ranger Rick mystery. Cachers are asked to solve the mystery by stamping their passport. Additional “More to Explore” activities are included in each cache, as well as opportunities for trading.
- Geocachers can fill their passports by finding all of the geocaches along your trail.
- At the end of the adventure, kids and parents will log on to geocaching.com, post their finds, and share their experiences. Answers to the mysteries can be found online at RangerRickTrails.com.
Find an existing trail near you...
- Hits: 1715
By Chris Short
Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs appeared in 1954's "Motivation and Personality." In his preliminary study of the human psyche and the demands and desires for self-fulfillment, Maslow compartmentalized needs into five stages: biological/physiological, safety, belonging, esteem and self-actualization. If we start at the beginning of his pyramid by ensuring we have nutrition, shelter, sleep, etc., we are capable of addressing the "higher order" needs. And according to Maslow, destruction of the basic need fulfillment renders humans incapable of addressing their personal growth, status, or reputation. At the most basic explanation, when you can survive physically, you can focus on social order, spheres of influence, personal development and ultimately achieving self-realization.
We determine our self-worth based upon our achievements, status and social connections. Our hobbies and activities are often in direct response to the higher level "needs." And many times we seek altruistic expressions to fulfill a basic desire to support others with the lower "needs." But in this age of hyper-connectivity, our understanding of social connection is skewed by Tweets, Facebook status updates and SMS/text messaging. Thankfully, there are still opportunities to connect our hobbies with our need to be connected beyond sound bites or txt-ese messages: LOL, OMG! TTYL! OK, maybe there are some special terms and phrases that only geocachers understand, but we also talk like ol' fashioned folk.
This past March, geocachers from around the country -- and a few dedicated players from Canada -- gathered at Rend Lake for an event designated as the Midwest Open Geocaching Adventure, or MOGA. It is theoretically the world's largest weekend competition for individuals and teams. The "mega-event" spans three days, but it is far from simply being a marathon of finding geocaches. Maslow's Hierarchy is present at every level and in very distinct examples of the human condition. Imagine a Trekkie -- pardon me, Trekkers -- convention for people who like to find Tupperware in the woods. And it is themed. So imagine a Trekker convention for people who like to find Tupperware. Dressed as pirates.
The global community of geocachers is as diverse as any community. It spans a wide breadth of economic, education and intelligence factors. And it has a vast array of social acceptability and accessibility. There are the party animals, the social butterflies and the wall flowers. And they all dressed up as Captain Jack Sparrow or wenches. But it provides an opportunity for people who share a common bond -- Tupperware hunting -- to gather, share and enjoy community. Geocaching.com provides the sense of stability and order through the definition of the game and its guidelines. The venue ensured food and shelter. And the geocachers participate to establish their own higher needs: Comparing geocache hides? Gloating over numbers? Pride? A sense of learning from others?
MOGA only comes around once a year. In the meantime, local geocachers gather on a regular basis to talk shop, brag a little and enjoy each others' company in a celebration of sociocachephiltis: the love of social caching. Bring your ego, your sense of achievement, and your willingness to grow. We can't guarantee the cake.
- Hits: 2270
Story by Avantika Khatri
Over the past three years, David Bassett has found more than 2,600 hidden containers using a GPS receiver. Locations for the hiding spots, known as geocaches, range from mountain peaks to libraries to underwater caves to lush forests.
Geocaching became possible May 2, 2000, when the U.S. government turned off selective availability for GPS. Until that point, the government altered the GPS satellite clock signals to skew GPS accuracy by 100 meters for unauthorized personnel. Today, more than 5 million people have joined the high-tech treasure hunt, hiding and searching for more than 1.4 million caches.
“I saw a T-shirt once, and it said, ‘I use billion-dollar government satellites to find Tupperware hidden in the woods,’ and that sums it up right there,” said Bassett, 49.
During a traditional geocache, a person hides a waterproof container containing a logbook and possibly small knickknacks and then enters the coordinates for the container’s location on a website. Other cachers enter the coordinates into their GPS receivers, and the search begins.
Although there are many websites for recording caches, the main one is www.geocaching.com, which Bassett describes as “the Walmart of geocaching.”
Each cache provides Bassett an opportunity to explore new areas. Although he has lived in Boone County for a long time and says he is familiar with the area, Bassett regularly discovers new things because of where other people hide their caches. In Cuba, Mo., for instance, he discovered a waterfall and a dog-racing track — things he never expected to find.
These hiding spots also create opportunities for new experiences.
“I’ve rappelled. I’d never rappelled before in my life, but I’d gone to get a geocache just a couple of weeks ago, as a matter of fact, and we rappelled over a 125-foot cliff,” Bassett said.
Read the entire article at columbiatribune.com...
- Hits: 1864
Submitted by Catherine Redfern, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist/Fundraiser
Did you know you can go geocaching at World Bird Sanctuary?
We didn't. But you can. So we decided to find out more about it!
Young guests learning about geocaching at a
recent WBS National Trails Day event
Tom Wolpert from the St. Louis Area Geogachers Association tells us what it's all about.
"Geocaching is a high-tech treasure or scavenger hunt which uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) to locate hidden containers. Geocachers like to joke that we use billion dollar defense satellite systems to hunt Tupperware® in the woods.
At midnight on May 2, the government did away with Selective Availability, which limited the accuracy of the civilian GPS signal to about 200 feet. Without Selective Availability, accuracy improved to about 20 feet. The next day, geocaching started. Dave Ulmer, a GPS enthusiast, decided to see just how well the system worked. He stocked a plastic bucket with trade items and a notebook, hid it in the woods, posted the coordinates – the latitude and longitude – on the Internet, and invited fellow enthusiasts to use their GPS receivers to find the bucket. The rules were simple: “Take some stuff, leave some stuff! Record it all in the logbook. Have fun!” Although there have been a lot of embellishments over the years, that’s still the way the basic game is played today.
Virtually anyone can go geocaching, although very small children may need some help from mom and dad. Geocaches (and geocachers) are everywhere. There are over 1.4 million caches – and over 5 million geocachers – worldwide. There are caches on every continent, including Antarctica. In fact, there are about 480 geocaches within a 10 mile radius of the World Bird Sanctuary! There are caches which require long hikes, caches within a few steps of parking, and caches which are wheelchair-accessible. There are caches which are very easy to find and others which might require an extensive search. Each cache has difficulty and terrain ratings on a scale of one to five. This makes it easy to choose caches that fit your abilities and the circumstances.
Read the entire article at www.world-bird-sanctuary.blogspot.com...
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