Geocaching! High Tech Hide and Seek

Okay, I guess with some things, I'm a little behind the times. At the recent "Tots and Technology" conference in Galveston, I attended a session on "Geocaching in the Elementary Classroom." Geocaching is "a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game in which players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online." (http://www.geocaching.com/) The site has been around for quite a while a a lot of educators have found engaging ways to integrate it into their curriculum. I'd heard about Geocaching, but never delved into it until now.

You create a free account and then play "Hide and Seek." As a "seeker" you can type in an address or zip code and you'll get a list of caches hidden in your area. There is usually a short description and a hint or two to help you in your quest. Then, using a GPS or SmartPhone, you try to find it. Or, you can hide a cache yourself and enter the coordinates and hints for others to find.

Yesterday, I found my first cache! Inside the small pill bottle was a log that I signed and dated. I waas amzed at just how pleased I was with myself! Once you find a cache, you place it right back where you found it for others to find. The cache I found is pictured below.




Uses for Geoaching in the classroom range from math to science to language arts. I ran across this great article on GPS and Goecaching in the Classroom. I'd love to hear how others are using it!

Unfortunately for our district, the Geocache website does not allow for caches to be hidden on military installations. So, there are none listed in our district. We could, however, create our own list for our students of caches we hide ourselves. I'll let you know how it goes!

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