Geocaching in education – what’s the point?

Whilst on our walk around the sand dunes of #lob11 the conversation turned at one point to geocaching and it turned out that there was this geocache nearby (you’ll need to be logged in to view although it’s free to sign up) which Susan found and we all duly signed. We then started chatting about the value of geocaching in education and myself and Angela were unsure of how it could really be developed and extended to have true learning potential. I know there are some people on twitter who sing it’s praises so I’ve done a bit more hunting around to see what I could find and see if there’s anything that can convince me.

On my search I found quite a few interesting ideas for the potential that geocaching has, beyond the obvious learning about coordinates, team work and enjoying the outdoors:

Jo Deyenberg has used them to teach about WW2 by using caches placed at historic landmarks and spellings and a whole host of other ideas too

I then found Educaching, a whole site dedicated to geocaching in education with lots of lesson plans and resources;

There is a wiki that’s slowly filling up with ideas for using geocaching in education : http://edcaching.wikispaces.com/home – I love the idea about using coordinates to learn how to use a library!

Dr Alice Christie shares several ideas of how caches can contain different items that then need to be discussed and learning developed;

And the geocaching.com website itself has an education forum with some interesting ideas.

These links have definitely enlightened me to the potential (although I imagine they take a fair amount of work to organise) and shown me that perhaps I need to be a bit more creative with my thinking sometimes! I shall now be having a think as to how I might use geocaching at some point next year.

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