Combining Geocaching and Children’s Literature

Troy Jones

Abstract


Geocaching is a growing phenomenon and an interesting pastime that attracts people worldwide. This activity involves participants using Global Positioning System (GPS) units to hunt for hidden caches in a variety of settings. However, the educational value of the activity has yet to be fully realized. Researchers conducting the current study sought to infuse geocaching and the GPS technology in an interdisciplinary lesson in a third-grade classroom. The research team combined literature, technology, history, geography, art, diversity, and imagination into one two-part social studies lesson. The third graders were then surveyed about their reactions to the activity and the use of the GPS units. All respondents enjoyed the literature component of the activity and hunting with GPS units. Participants also indicated that programming and using the GPS units were their favorite aspects of the activity. Three participants had difficulty using the GPS units, yet all participants wanted to conduct more geocaching activities. Further research should be attempted with different types of literature and with children of different ages. Children also clearly enjoyed using the technology even when they did not fully understand it. Therefore, future research should also explore comprehensive instruction in the use of GPS units with elementary-aged children.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/jse.v2i1.1158

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