GPS, Geocaching & Inclusive Education

I dabbled with Geocaching when it started to become popular a few years ago but time, the arrival of the children, and a variety of other intervening factors meant I never really ‘got into it’. However, when I bought a GPS enabled phone (iPhone 3G) last year I decided to revisit the sport/activity/game. I’m always out jogging or cycling with the kids, walking in the woods and hills that surround where we live so it seemed an obvious additional facet to our trips out.

I was directed to a blog today via Ollie Bray that detailed how Clackmannan Primary School embedded the use of GPS into an Eco Project they were involved in and I thought it was about time I put something up here to try to stimulate some local participation in this fun, inclusive activity.

So – what is it and what do you need to get started? Watch the 2 minute video to get an overview.

I can envisage geocaching being an excellent opportunity for teachers and pupils to take part in a healthy, outdoor pursuit while engaging in cross-curricular activities that would give rise, quite naturally, to team work, problem solving, and creativity. Pupils could, for example, learn more about their local environment through geocaching and go on to develop a deeper knowledge to enable them to plan, prepare, describe, and lay their own caches. Success is not all tied up in an ability to read and write so it offers wonderful opportunities for those who have differing learning styles.

GPS devices start around £60 Have a look here and here (thanks Iain Hallihan) although for a bit more (if you hunt around) you can get something a bit better in terms of facilities and robustness. Remember, though, there’s a good chance your phone has GPS facilities that are more than enough to get started.

My son, Finlay, finding a geocache in Clashwood, Muir of Ord.

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About Alan Stewart

I'm a teacher who changed direction after teaching visually impaired pupils. I became interested in how technology could assist young people overcome or deal with various disabilities. I've, since, been an Education Support Officer, an ICT Training Support Officer, and have been Coordinator of Highland's Assistive Technology Support Service for the past 20 years. I'm also the proud father of two young boys (2003 & 2008). View all posts by Alan Stewart

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