I saw a message on Twitter today that reminded me of a project I've had in the back of my head since last June. A teacher said that her students' geocache had made it from Florida to Washington, DC. She couldn't wait to tell the students. Since I took a few students on a geocache expedition last June, I've had it in mind to purchase some travel bugs and send them on their way. My son is in the picture holding the first cache we located.
Developing the Idea
I was talking with my husband and sons at dinner about the DC travel bug. As we were talking, my husband suggested that I start by trying to get the bug to move from our school's town to a neighboring town's geocache. I think that's a good idea to start the project. Next, I thought it might be useful to plant a geocache at my home where I could control things (and have a shorter trip to retrieve the bug).
As we ate, I realized that another "easy" trip would be to send the bug down to Florida to a teacher I'm comfortable working with online. As I continued to eat, I thought about other teachers who are far more comfortable with geocaches. My students and I could learn so much from a collaboration.
GPS Travel Wikispaces
I'm not sure if anyone has set up a project like this, so I created gpstravel.wikispaces.com this evening as an education wiki. I'm borrowing heavily from my work on monsterproject.wikispaces.com and timetravelexperiences.wikispaces.com.
In my mind I envision setting up some research for the students. They would learn and create artifacts to show what they learn about longitude and latitude, how their GPS unit(s) work, and what, if anything, they have done with geocaching.com.
As Anna and I developed the monsterproject wiki, we started including information to help the teachers. Based on that wiki I have a getting started, lessons plans, and helpful hints set of links on the new wiki. As other teachers join in they can add to those links.
Let the Games Begin
I have created the Google Form below to allow teachers to register so I can start tracking interest in this idea. I'll look forward to sharing a Skype call to brainstorm the lessons. We can all give it a try together and see where it leads.