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Integrating GPS technology into the classroom

DIGITAL NATIVES This generation of students “are more confident with technological innovation than their parents. They are able to use digital media to impose culture on the older generation.” - Fishman, e-OneRoom Schoolhouse: Adapting to the “New Kids”


“Curricula that are not interesting have the potential to consume precious learning time and sap the energy and motivation of students.� - Mary Witte, Ed.D., Gifted Child Today

DIGITAL NATIVES “National studies of K–12 educators indicate that most of them are not adopting technology for meaningful learning purposes, nor do teachers feel adequately prepared to design experiences that engage students in purposeful learning with technology.” - Becker, U.S. Department of Education

GEOCACHING From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Geocaching is an outdoor activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches") anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container (usually a tupperware or ammo box) containing a logbook. Larger containers can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets of little value. Geocaching is most often described as a "game of high-tech hide and seek", sharing many aspects with orienteering, treasure-hunting, and waymarking. Geocaches are currently placed in over 100 countries around the world and on all seven continents, including Antarctica.[1] As of January 3, 2010, there are 965,889 active geocaches over the world.[2]

EDUCATIONAL GEOCACHING Many caches are educational in concept: Virtual Caches - Historical markers and information plaques Earthcaches - Geologically interesting spots Puzzle Caches - Crack the code to continue Multi-Caches - Problem solving involved


Students are guided beyond the four walls into an environment that is challenging, integrative, and exploratory. GPS inspires the thrill of the hunt for learning. Emphasizes pupil collaboration, problem-solving, critical thinking, analysis and reasoning.

WHY USE GPS? Provides visualizations which are a powerful way to understand problems, identify solutions, and discover the unexpected Innovative way to place technology into students’ hands Promotes spatial awareness and learning Augments student communication locally and globally

CLASSROOM COST Interactive Whiteboard (1 classroom) = $3,000 Classroom Response System (24 Clickers) = $1,600 Desktop/Laptop Computers (4) = $2,000 iPod Touch (Class set of 24) = $4,800 Document Camera = $1,000

GPS Receivers (set of 6) +

Educaching速 Curriculum = $590

BUILDING COST Interactive Whiteboard (based on 20 classrooms) = $60,000 Classroom Response System (32 Clickers) = $2,000 Desktop/Laptop Computers (Lab of 25) = $12,500 iPod Touch (Class set of 32) = $6,400 Document Camera (6)= $6,000 GPS Receivers (set of 12) + $1,220

Educaching速 Curriculum (6) =


GPS is affordable, accessible, and augments the existing tech already in classrooms.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER Emerald Ash Borer -In field - students record waypoints on GPS, photograph with digital cameras, document observations through audio and typing via iPod touch -Back in the Classroom, upload GPS data to pc/mac -Use Google Earth, Internet Research to create visual recreations of findings, use spreadsheet software to quantify data -Teacher may use clickers to review important material -Students/Teacher uses interactive whiteboard to present what was learned, draw conclusions -Critical thinking example - Students decided if this is a problem for their community and what further actions should be taken






The Hunt starts here . . .

Everything you need to begin implementing an experiential GPS learning environment Creates confident and capable GPS users This is professional development for your students Written by a teacher who was “in the trenches� with students and their GPS units


Aligns with National teaching standards Math

Language Arts


Physical Education


Social Studies

Objectives based on Ohio standards

CD included: Customize your field sheets Print PDFs and cache labels

Ideas for: Sharing across districts Borrowing from organizations Writing your own grant

Ideas include: Podcaching - with an mp3 player Cypher and secret password caches Sudoku and jigsaw puzzle caches Student-created hunts Educaching Club

THE DATA I would like to use GPS to learn in my class whenever possible.

I like “experiencing” what I’m being taught.

Using GPS technology is fun. 64%




9% 9% 34% 16%


Source: Results from students surveyed in GPS Club from NW Ohio elementary school

SUMMARY How Educaching Delivers: Creating physical and digital spaces that foster inventive thinking - Provides visualizations which are a powerful way to understand problems, identify solutions, and discover the unexpected Designing physical and digital spaces for diverse needs - GPS learning emphasizes multiple learning styles and teamwork among students of diverse capabilities. Facilitating learning in unexpected places - Students are guided beyond the four walls into an environment that is challenging, integrative, and exploratory.

SUMMARY How Educaching Delivers: Building student learning communities -Students with GPS can collaborate and problem solve, as well as connect spatially with their community and world Redefining role and interaction with students -Educaching transforms students from passive listeners to engaged participants as the educator guides the learning process. Comparisons of current and future learning spaces -The school campus becomes an outdoor classroom in which learning begins and Educaching integrates GPS with other current technology already used within the building.

YOUR CD INCLUDES: Electronic copy of Educaching Curriculum GPS Club Electronic Grants and other resources

NEXT STEPS Acquiring GPS - Grant Resources through eTech and Educaching CD Basic training available NOW at Further professional development by June 2010 from Educaching

Integrating GPS Technology into the Curriculum  

This PDF is a slideshow presented by Jason Hubbard at a 2010 conference. Jason is the author of the Educaching curriculum (

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