Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2
danieloliveira

EarthCache lessons

Recommended Posts

A nagging question has been eating bothering me for a weeks and I guess you could consider this as a poll-type question:

1- Should the cache page of an EarthCache provide the actual lesson? (i.e. should all the information be made available on the cache page so that when you visit the site you only get to grips with the practical side of things).

 

or

 

2- Should the actual lesson be reserved for the EarthCache site? (i.e. The cache page has introduced the problem but the actual feature can only be seen at the site?)

 

Maybe a little difficult to understand and perhaps I should exemplify.

 

Say you want to do an EC that brings together elements from a whole region (eg. mineral deposits, or types of minerals). It would be impossible to send everyone to every location that these minerals come from.

However, you find a site that has a collection of these minerals (not a museum!) where samples can be viewed, touched and even smelt. Additionally, the site is complemented with information boards on each mineral, their mode of occurrence, etc.

The cache page would obviously have to be generic enough to describe the site in detail but not each mineral, etc.

 

Please let's have your opinion on this. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post

A nagging question has been eating bothering me for a weeks and I guess you could consider this as a poll-type question:

1- Should the cache page of an EarthCache provide the actual lesson? (i.e. should all the information be made available on the cache page so that when you visit the site you only get to grips with the practical side of things).

 

or

 

2- Should the actual lesson be reserved for the EarthCache site? (i.e. The cache page has introduced the problem but the actual feature can only be seen at the site?)

 

Maybe a little difficult to understand and perhaps I should exemplify.

 

Say you want to do an EC that brings together elements from a whole region (eg. mineral deposits, or types of minerals). It would be impossible to send everyone to every location that these minerals come from.

However, you find a site that has a collection of these minerals (not a museum!) where samples can be viewed, touched and even smelt. Additionally, the site is complemented with information boards on each mineral, their mode of occurrence, etc.

The cache page would obviously have to be generic enough to describe the site in detail but not each mineral, etc.

 

Please let's have your opinion on this. Thanks.

 

If any reviewer's see this, I would appreciate their input as well. Thanks

Share this post


Link to post

Don't think it matters...

What does matter is, you can only get the answer by being there on site.

I have been to both types and would have to agree w/this.

Share this post


Link to post

I think there is a place for both...and yet I think many times an EC developers tend to add too much information - they provide every snippet of information about a site rather than the critical background information needed to appreciate what you see on site and undertake the logging tasks. For this reason it can be difficult to work out where on the line bewteen the two end examples you have given any EC falls.

 

I personally like shorter text and a stronger learning experience on site.

Share this post


Link to post

I think there is a place for both...and yet I think many times an EC developers tend to add too much information - they provide every snippet of information about a site rather than the critical background information needed to appreciate what you see on site and undertake the logging tasks. For this reason it can be difficult to work out where on the line bewteen the two end examples you have given any EC falls.

 

I personally like shorter text and a stronger learning experience on site.

 

I have to agree generally speaking there. I like shorter text with a brief lesson about what I'm supposed to be in awe of. I also appreciate if a ton of localized information isn't put on the page about the history and then there's the questions that has nothing to do with what I supposedly learned out of that lesson on the page. My theory is if I'm supposed to answer the random geological question put forth give me the information to do so. Don't ask me about classifying a waterfall when all that is taught on the page is glacial movement and the history of that particular spot.

Share this post


Link to post

..and yet I think many times an EC developers tend to add too much information - they provide every snippet of information about a site rather than the critical background information needed to appreciate what you see on site and undertake the logging tasks. For this reason it can be difficult to work out where on the line bewteen the two end examples you have given any EC falls.

 

I personally like shorter text and a stronger learning experience on site.

 

I personally like longer texts together with a strong learning experience on site. I like if the text is telling me more than just what is needed to answer the questions. The more information is provided on the cache page (as long as it does not collide with the learning experience), the better for me.

 

Cezanne

Share this post


Link to post

I personally like longer texts together with a strong learning experience on site. I like if the text is telling me more than just what is needed to answer the questions. The more information is provided on the cache page (as long as it does not collide with the learning experience), the better for me.

 

Cezanne

 

I can understand your point of view but there are instances where the cache page must be left sufficiently generic (and short) so as not to spoil the "surprise" on site.

Share this post


Link to post

I personally like longer texts together with a strong learning experience on site. I like if the text is telling me more than just what is needed to answer the questions. The more information is provided on the cache page (as long as it does not collide with the learning experience), the better for me.

 

Cezanne

 

I can understand your point of view but there are instances where the cache page must be left sufficiently generic (and short) so as not to spoil the "surprise" on site.

 

Yes, I agree that's why I wrote "as long as it does not collide with the learning experience". Maybe I should have written overall experience instead.

I did not intend to say that I prefer a longer text to a shorter one regardless of the circumstances, but only that I like to be provided with additional information that

does not interfere with the exprience, but is also not required to complete the EC. I can decide on my own to which level of detail I'd like to study additional material. If it is there, I can make this decision, if it is not there, I do not have any choice.

 

 

Cezanne

Share this post


Link to post

After running into a few uncompleted earth caches due to a ton of text that had nothing to do with the learning experience honestly I go read the logging questions first and go back and scan the text to see if the information I need is even in there. I rarely read a full earth cache page if it's pages and pages of explanation and diagrams that I typically don't understand anyhow. I just go right to the meat and potatoes (so to speak) of what I need and essentially give myself a micro lesson.

Share this post


Link to post

Daniel, either way seems OK. All of yours are great.

As a side, but related note. I find it rather amusing that suddenly, brevity is valued! :ph34r:

 

I did find that a little funny too with all the emphasis on adding more and more material to the cache pages to just get them through review.

Share this post


Link to post

Daniel, either way seems OK. All of yours are great.

As a side, but related note. I find it rather amusing that suddenly, brevity is valued! :ph34r:

 

I did find that a little funny too with all the emphasis on adding more and more material to the cache pages to just get them through review.

 

It's always been about content, not length! There is no 'suddenly' in this equation.

Share this post


Link to post

Daniel, either way seems OK. All of yours are great.

As a side, but related note. I find it rather amusing that suddenly, brevity is valued! :ph34r:

 

I did find that a little funny too with all the emphasis on adding more and more material to the cache pages to just get them through review.

 

I am with you 'Chokecherry' and I have several emails to prove it. Yes, I have saved every email pertaining to getting all 60 ECs published! Many have requested lengthening the content. I am glad to see it is different now. I have noticed how brief many of the newer ECs are described. Perhaps some are too brief? :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post

Daniel, either way seems OK. All of yours are great.

As a side, but related note. I find it rather amusing that suddenly, brevity is valued! :ph34r:

 

I did find that a little funny too with all the emphasis on adding more and more material to the cache pages to just get them through review.

 

I am with you 'Chokecherry' and I have several emails to prove it. Yes, I have saved every email pertaining to getting all 60 ECs published! Many have requested lengthening the content. I am glad to see it is different now. I have noticed how brief many of the newer ECs are described. Perhaps some are too brief? :ph34r:

 

Thanks once more for the input. Great to have so many views.

Share this post


Link to post

Regarding the shift towards brevity, did that coincide with the review/approval process moving from GSA to Groundspeak? Not sure of the timing of either, but I was curious as to whether they were connected.

Share this post


Link to post

Regarding the shift towards brevity, did that coincide with the review/approval process moving from GSA to Groundspeak? Not sure of the timing of either, but I was curious as to whether they were connected.

Interesting question that I cannot answer.

Share this post


Link to post

Regarding the shift towards brevity, did that coincide with the review/approval process moving from GSA to Groundspeak?

 

I do not think that something like this shift really took place in the literal sense. What might have had an influence, however, is that when

moving the system over to Groundspeak they also enlarged the reviewer team. Different people act differently and some reviewers have their own particular

style. For example, the type of questions asked in Austrian ECs has changed a bit since most of them are again reviewed by international reviewers (referring to their

accounts) and not by the reviewers from Germany (e.g. since then questions where one is asked to describe the shape, colour etc of rocks and other questions that are not the estimation type, but have no precise 1-2 word answer are arising quite frequently). This effect not so surprising as the EC reviewers try to be helpful and suggest improvements and each reviewer has its own personal style for doing so.

 

So I guess we will not receive a reply to the question you raise as the individual reviewers will not feel that they have changed their attitude that much.

 

 

Cezanne

Share this post


Link to post

Regarding the shift towards brevity,...

 

I haven't seen this so much, but rather there seems to be a shift back towards keeping the Listings focused on Geology, as it should be, and not so much on unrelated information that does not contribute to the Earth Science lesson. Likewise, I see fewer Listings with Logging Requirements that focus on plaques/signs and the like, which are unrelated to the "lesson" (e.g. "....email me the third word in the second paragraph of the interpretive sign at these coordinates....").

Share this post


Link to post

Regarding the shift towards brevity,...

 

I haven't seen this so much, but rather there seems to be a shift back towards keeping the Listings focused on Geology, as it should be, and not so much on unrelated information that does not contribute to the Earth Science lesson. Likewise, I see fewer Listings with Logging Requirements that focus on plaques/signs and the like, which are unrelated to the "lesson" (e.g. "....email me the third word in the second paragraph of the interpretive sign at these coordinates....").

I find that unfortunate. While one can skim (or not read at all) the cache page, if you are asked to get information from a sign (presumably one which talks about the feature) you are forced to read or at least skim the material and actually learn something.

Share this post


Link to post

Regarding the shift towards brevity,...

 

I haven't seen this so much, but rather there seems to be a shift back towards keeping the Listings focused on Geology, as it should be, and not so much on unrelated information that does not contribute to the Earth Science lesson. Likewise, I see fewer Listings with Logging Requirements that focus on plaques/signs and the like, which are unrelated to the "lesson" (e.g. "....email me the third word in the second paragraph of the interpretive sign at these coordinates....").

I find that unfortunate. While one can skim (or not read at all) the cache page, if you are asked to get information from a sign (presumably one which talks about the feature) you are forced to read or at least skim the material and actually learn something.

 

I think it depends on which questions are asked and what is written on the signs or other objects. Quite often the idea behind such questions is to just provide a proof of visit and to make it as simple as possible and to end up with unique answers that can be used for providing "log permission" by automatic e-mail responders. (While the FAQ mentions that their usage is strongly discouraged, they still exist and such ECs are also among those that have recently been published.)

 

I prefer questions that require me to understand the cache page and what is to be seen at the location and not just to write down some words which I can do also if I do not understand anything at all.

 

Cezanne

Share this post


Link to post

 

...

I prefer questions that require me to understand the cache page and what is to be seen at the location and not just to write down some words which I can do also if I do not understand anything at all.

 

Cezanne

 

I tend to agree with you. It does make the experience that much more rewarding.

Share this post


Link to post

I personally prefer a page that leads me to understand the context of what is in front of my eyes - but then the actual answer is only provided in location through interpretation and alignment of what I am seeing and what I have read. It makes the learning lesson alive.

Share this post


Link to post

I have done many and developed a few.

 

When I get ready to do an earthcache, I read as much as I can before visiting the site. Too much information on the page gets VERY hard to read and deciper on the GPS unit.

 

There needs to be a balance: background information and details to solve the earthcache questions when you get to the site.

 

Here is one aspect: I am a high school science teacher. I am finding many people that attempt earthcaches have not had a good high school science background. Most earthcaches are written to the new national essential standards for 6th grade and high school earth science information. We need to get more educators using the earthcaches as a teaching tool. This is a practical application of what we are trying to get students to learn in the classroom.

Share this post


Link to post

We need to get more educators using the earthcaches as a teaching tool. This is a practical application of what we are trying to get students to learn in the classroom.

 

Actually, I would not be mainly positive about such a development. While I agree that ECs can be a nice practical application, I am not feeling comfortable if teachers are using the work of others in their teaching. If they come up with their own caches, I do not care that much, but still it might bring even more people into geocaching in general and will increase the number of caches hidden by teenagers who have no experience at all in geocaching.

 

From the teaching perspective I would prefer by far a separate site only offering ECs and no other caches at all. Under such circumstance, I would agree with your statement (provided the teachers are contributing actively themselves and are not only consuming).

 

Cezanne

Share this post


Link to post

I find it totally amazing when some folks celebrate the difficulty (real) rating of earthcaches yet have found few. It's sorta like praising 5 terrain ratings, but not walking past a 1.5 rating.

I know my survey is unscientific and doesn't represent the entire Would of earthcaching, but well over 80% of the cachers I have talked too visit ECs for one or both of two reasons. One is that disreputable WOW factor which means seeing something worthwhile and the second is to simply capture a smiley. Yeah, yeah I know the earthcache concept was created with the sole purpose of the 'learning experience', but like it or not an unintended consequence is people visiting, seeing and enjoying some wonder of nature.

Is there really something wrong with seeking an answer by reading a sign? Guess what? Reading is one of the basic portals to learning! If the sign matches the geology it seems to fit 'the learning experience' rather well. Reading the cache page, reading a sign or some other required research are all reading.

Yes, it is simple to identify an waterfall with a given classification. Maybe some will learn what are the types of waterfalls. Until the visit, most cachers never knew that waterfalls were classified! Oh yes, there are those simple estimate questions i.e. how tall or how wide. Maybe when the estimate is confirmed or corrected, a little learning takes place. Learning how to be accurate with 'outdoor' estimates can be important and could even save a life!

I'll wind down this with this. Learning takes place in even the most simple forms. If we don't attract folks to ECs then one thing is for sure.................no learning at all takes place. Thanks. :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post

Really I only do them for the wow factor. Most of the "lessons" are written in geological terminology above my head. So I scan see if can even begin to answer the questions or if the material I need to get me there is in the "lesson". If there wasn't something cool there I wouldnt be there in general. If you can't tell me what is cool in less then 5 pages and in plain language I have little interest in it.

Share this post


Link to post

We need to get more educators using the earthcaches as a teaching tool. This is a practical application of what we are trying to get students to learn in the classroom.

Actually, I would not be mainly positive about such a development. While I agree that ECs can be a nice practical application, I am not feeling comfortable if teachers are using the work of others in their teaching. If they come up with their own caches, I do not care that much, but still it might bring even more people into geocaching in general and will increase the number of caches hidden by teenagers who have no experience at all in geocaching.

 

From the teaching perspective I would prefer by far a separate site only offering ECs and no other caches at all. Under such circumstance, I would agree with your statement (provided the teachers are contributing actively themselves and are not only consuming).

Almost all teachers use the work of others. Teaching is about sharing knowledge that has accumulated over the years and learning from the experiences of others.

 

It would be great if teachers also created EarthCaches, and many of them do. Even if they didn't, however, I'd have no problem with teachers using EarthCaches as teaching tools. It's good when geocaching can give something back to the community, especially something as important as the education of our youth.

Edited by CanadianRockies

Share this post


Link to post

I find it totally amazing when some folks celebrate the difficulty (real) rating of earthcaches yet have found few.

 

What do you mean with celebrating the difficulty rating? I am bit perplexed anyway as this thread is not about difficulty.

 

If you referred to people like me, please take into account my situation:

In my home area and the area of a friend I am visiting about once a year there are not that many ECs and none of them has a high difficulty rating, and almost none of them has tasks

that attract me (the same is true for my friend who tends to ignore ECs at all). So it is nothing surprising that I do not have high numbers of visited ECs and none with high difficulty ratings.

While I am not able to do ECs with 4*+ T rating, I guess I would be able to do ECs with higher D ratings and in any case would love to try them.

 

Yeah, yeah I know the earthcache concept was created with the sole purpose of the 'learning experience', but like it or not an unintended consequence is people visiting, seeing and enjoying some wonder of nature.

Is there really something wrong with seeking an answer by reading a sign?

 

There is nothing wrong with it. It is just not what attracts me to ECs. It is rather boring for me if the focus is only on reading and not on really understanding the read material and being able to apply it. Most of the EC locations I am visiting are known to me before the EC got published. So my motivation for going there again to do the EC is not the location, but the attractivity of the tasks and what the EC teaches me about what I have not already been familiar with before. If there are signs at the location, I typically will have read them before.

 

I guess the main issue here is once again that there are different target audiences. A tourist or someone who does not know a location, for example, will have other interests than a local knowing the location well, but would like to learn more about the geology aspect behind the location that might not be obvious.

A cacher who caches with paper printouts will have different preferences than a paperless cacher. There are many more examples of that type.

 

There is nothing wrong with different preferences and different opinions. Chokecherry, you and myself do not need to enjoy the same type of ECs. I can understand your point of view from your perspective, and I am not asking you to change your preferences. To come back to the topic here. If we leave out the perspective of paperless cachers it appears to me that a longer description providing additional details can do no big harm as those who prefer only to read the most essential part, can easily skip the other material. On the contrary, if a description is very short, those who are interested into more details have no option to learn more about the location and its background.

 

 

Cezanne

Share this post


Link to post

We need to get more educators using the earthcaches as a teaching tool. This is a practical application of what we are trying to get students to learn in the classroom.

Actually, I would not be mainly positive about such a development. While I agree that ECs can be a nice practical application, I am not feeling comfortable if teachers are using the work of others in their teaching. If they come up with their own caches, I do not care that much, but still it might bring even more people into geocaching in general and will increase the number of caches hidden by teenagers who have no experience at all in geocaching.

 

From the teaching perspective I would prefer by far a separate site only offering ECs and no other caches at all. Under such circumstance, I would agree with your statement (provided the teachers are contributing actively themselves and are not only consuming).

Almost all teachers use the work of others. Teaching is about sharing knowledge that has accumulated over the years and learning from the experiences of others.

 

You are right. I was not precise enough. I did not have knowledge in mind when I used the term work. I have come across several incidents where teachers became aware of geocaching and then compiled lists of geocaches (not of them owned by them and without asking the owners for permission) and distributed those lists in seminars for teachers in the way "Here you have a list of activities you can go for with your students without having any preparation work of your own". In all these incidents the reactions of the local community were very negative.

 

It would be great if teachers also created EarthCaches, and many of them do.

 

Again I was not sufficiently precise.

I was not talking about active cachers who happen to be teachers, but teachers who are not into geocaching and just identify geocaches as a way to save work or get things for free that they would otherwise have to pay for.

 

Cezanne

Share this post


Link to post

I have come across several incidents where teachers became aware of geocaching and then compiled lists of geocaches (not of them owned by them and without asking the owners for permission) and distributed those lists in seminars for teachers in the way "Here you have a list of activities you can go for with your students without having any preparation work of your own". In all these incidents the reactions of the local community were very negative.

I find it sad that many in those local communities reacted negatively. What's wrong with sharing these awesome (in both senses of the word) resources with others, especially when they help children learn? When you publish a cache with Groundspeak, you make it available for others to find. No permission is needed.

 

It would be great if teachers also created EarthCaches, and many of them do.

Again I was not sufficiently precise.

 

I was not talking about active cachers who happen to be teachers, but teachers who are not into geocaching and just identify geocaches as a way to save work or get things for free that they would otherwise have to pay for.

Again, I think we must be talking about different things. Why is it bad to save work and money? It might cost money for a class of students to visit a museum to learn more about glaciers and their effects. Alternatively, they might be able to go into the field, visit an EarthCache, see things for themselves, and learn for free. I think that is beneficial.

Share this post


Link to post

Learning takes place in even the most simple forms. If we don't attract folks to ECs then one thing is for sure.................no learning at all takes place.

 

I think that's a great point. I know I've come down on some of the more common types of earthcaches in the past, but looking through our finds, yeah, there are a number of springs and waterfalls in there. (Haven't cached much in glacier country, so not too many erratics.) And no, I didn't mind getting those finds without necessarily having to earn a college credit in the process. I visited the location, I learned a lesson, and I enjoyed myself. The more earthcaches I do, the more comfortable I have gotten with tackling the more technical ones, but I still very much value brevity.

 

It's definitely true that the more specific and complicated a lesson required for an earthcache, the fewer folks are going to want to complete it. I know I've skipped over a few ECs after looking at lengthy descriptions or technically involved logging requirements because I wanted to experience the location, not be hunched over my GPSr the entire time. I imagine I'm not in the minority on this.

 

At the end of the day, it's going to have to be a balance.

Share this post


Link to post

I have come across several incidents where teachers became aware of geocaching and then compiled lists of geocaches (not of them owned by them and without asking the owners for permission) and distributed those lists in seminars for teachers in the way "Here you have a list of activities you can go for with your students without having any preparation work of your own". In all these incidents the reactions of the local community were very negative.

I find it sad that many in those local communities reacted negatively. What's wrong with sharing these awesome (in both senses of the word) resources with others, especially when they help children learn?

 

The average teacher has more leisure time and sufficiently longer holidays than the majority of those cachers who invested many hours of their leisure time to make other fellow cachers happy. That's a big difference.

 

When you publish a cache with Groundspeak, you make it available for others to find. No permission is needed.

 

That's true, but most caches I know of are not intended for being visited by larger groups and if the teacher is not an experienced cacher he/she will not take care at all about the many issues that need to be taken care of. In my country the big majority of caches and ECs does not have any permission meaning that visits in larger groups will cause issues quite often.

 

 

 

Again I was not sufficiently precise.

 

I was not talking about active cachers who happen to be teachers, but teachers who are not into geocaching and just identify geocaches as a way to save work or get things for free that they would otherwise have to pay for.

Again, I think we must be talking about different things. Why is it bad to save work and money? It might cost money for a class of students to visit a museum to learn more about glaciers and their effects. Alternatively, they might be able to go into the field, visit an EarthCache, see things for themselves, and learn for free. I think that is beneficial.

 

My point was not about the financial side. Teachers are paid by taxpayers' money to do their work and in my opinion, this is in conflict with profiting in a large scale manner from activities like geocaching. (I am not talking about visiting a single EC, but about using this in a systematic way).

 

I am sure that the number of cachers who would be willing to offer their caches to an educational portal is much smaller than those who offer their work on geocaching sites. At least this certainly holds in my country.

 

Cezanne

Share this post


Link to post

It's definitely true that the more specific and complicated a lesson required for an earthcache, the fewer folks are going to want to complete it. I know I've skipped over a few ECs after looking at lengthy descriptions or technically involved logging requirements because I wanted to experience the location, not be hunched over my GPSr the entire time. I imagine I'm not in the minority on this.

 

I read the whole text at home and use the GPSr only when I need it to navigate to the location. if I cannot remember the questions/tasks I reread them on paper at the location.

I know hardly any EC in my country where this is not a nearby cache with a container. So if I just want to enjoy/experience the location, I will not go for the EC, but rather for the other caches as I can log right away. When I am doing an EC, my personal expectation is that it offers me more than a location of geological interest that in many cases is already known for me for years.

 

 

Cezanne

Share this post


Link to post

I have come across several incidents where teachers became aware of geocaching and then compiled lists of geocaches (not of them owned by them and without asking the owners for permission) and distributed those lists in seminars for teachers in the way "Here you have a list of activities you can go for with your students without having any preparation work of your own". In all these incidents the reactions of the local community were very negative.

I find it sad that many in those local communities reacted negatively. What's wrong with sharing these awesome (in both senses of the word) resources with others, especially when they help children learn?

 

The average teacher has more leisure time and sufficiently longer holidays than the majority of those cachers who invested many hours of their leisure time to make other fellow cachers happy. That's a big difference.

 

When you publish a cache with Groundspeak, you make it available for others to find. No permission is needed.

 

That's true, but most caches I know of are not intended for being visited by larger groups and if the teacher is not an experienced cacher he/she will not take care at all about the many issues that need to be taken care of. In my country the big majority of caches and ECs does not have any permission meaning that visits in larger groups will cause issues quite often.

 

 

 

Again I was not sufficiently precise.

 

I was not talking about active cachers who happen to be teachers, but teachers who are not into geocaching and just identify geocaches as a way to save work or get things for free that they would otherwise have to pay for.

Again, I think we must be talking about different things. Why is it bad to save work and money? It might cost money for a class of students to visit a museum to learn more about glaciers and their effects. Alternatively, they might be able to go into the field, visit an EarthCache, see things for themselves, and learn for free. I think that is beneficial.

 

My point was not about the financial side. Teachers are paid by taxpayers' money to do their work and in my opinion, this is in conflict with profiting in a large scale manner from activities like geocaching. (I am not talking about visiting a single EC, but about using this in a systematic way).

 

I am sure that the number of cachers who would be willing to offer their caches to an educational portal is much smaller than those who offer their work on geocaching sites. At least this certainly holds in my country.

 

Cezanne

 

Perhaps some thoughts and insight from a teacher would be helpful?

 

Teachers have to adhere to curricula and educational standards for student learning. We have certain topics to teach and often limited time and resources to teach them. Obviously, we should take advantage of terrific learning opportunities that are already compiled whenever possible. That is good time and resource management.

 

As for field trips and the integrity of EarthCache sites: One doesn't just take 180 students out into the field without prior arrangement (or even 20). During the planning stage, a land manager would have the opportunity to offer alternate suggestions if there was an issue with the group visiting.

 

I've never had any cacher or EarthCacher react negatively to my taking students to their spots. I've taken many classes on field trips, and if there is a nearby cache, we stop and do it. I've never heard of anyone having a problem with students at a cache or EarthCache, and a quick glance through the forums doesn't turn up any complaints there either).

 

I won't even go into how much time teachers spend working without pay during all that spare time we have (don't I wish!). I will say it would be difficult for any teacher to use EarthCaches in a "systematic way" over too long a period. Unless your subject IS geology, you only get to spend a small amount of time on the processes that shape the Earth. I'd also add that just because the geological aspects are mapped out in the EarthCaches, that doesn't mean the teachers can just plunk it down in front of a kid and say "learn this". They still have to adapt it to fit their curricula, and modify the lesson for their students. They also need to develop an assessment for student understanding. That's no different than any other resource a teacher uses--textbook, video, magazine, etc. If someone at a seminar told them a list of EarthCaches amounted to a lesson-in-a-can, they lied to the teachers.

 

There is, however,a terrific resource for teachers about EarthCaching that was made available by the GSA. My classes took part in the pilot testing and created two EarthCaches with a land manager as part of that pilot testing. We were just one group of many in the pilot program. The resource includes lesson plans about EarthCaches to use in the classroom.

 

I've used the information on EarthCache pages to teach about remote locations as well. I can use EarthCaches for "virtual field trips" with my students. Truth be told, with budget cuts what they are, that is most likely how the majority of teachers use the resource these days.

 

I am pretty sure my experience is not peculiar to North American, too. I have many friends who teach in other countries, and they all report similar experiences. Some are cachers, some are not.

Share this post


Link to post

 

Perhaps some thoughts and insight from a teacher would be helpful?

 

Yes, of course.

 

As for field trips and the integrity of EarthCache sites: One doesn't just take 180 students out into the field without prior arrangement (or even 20). During the planning stage, a land manager would have the opportunity to offer alternate suggestions if there was an issue with the group visiting.

 

There are no land managers in my area and you are a cacher yourself and even more, it appears to me that you are a very considerate cacher. The type of incidents I wrote about are of a completely different nature.

 

I've never had any cacher or EarthCacher react negatively to my taking students to their spots. I've taken many classes on field trips, and if there is a nearby cache, we stop and do it. I've never heard of anyone having a problem with students at a cache or EarthCache, and a quick glance through the forums doesn't turn up any complaints there either).

 

If someone like you would bring your students to a cache of mine, I would not complain either.

 

I won't even go into how much time teachers spend working without pay during all that spare time we have (don't I wish!). I will say it would be difficult for any teacher to use EarthCaches in a "systematic way" over too long a period.

 

My comment was with respect to ECs and caches with containers alike.

 

While you focused on direct use in your classes to integrate the lesson in your teaching plan, I rather had in mind trips like so called hiking days, project weeks etc where e.g. also a teacher of physical education or German will go for a trip with the whole class. There are typically two hiking days per year and there are classes that have 30 and more pupils and not too rarely two classes go to the same location.

 

I am pretty sure my experience is not peculiar to North American, too. I have many friends who teach in other countries, and they all report similar experiences. Some are cachers, some are not.

 

I'd be interested to know whether you talk about countries where it is common to check whether a cache area can tolerate much additional traffic. Regardless of whether it concerns ECs or caches with containers, many cache hiders in my country and almost all who started back in the early years, never had in mind to attract many people to their caches. It was somehow felt more like a secret, underground activity for a few and never as the mass development into which it has turned in some areas. I also need to admit that until say 2005 I have not thought at all about the aspect of attracting considerable additional traffic to any of the locations of my caches.

 

If one has gotten permission for a cache and if someone official observes the effect of visits to an area and asks for archival in case of problems, I as a cache owner would feel much less responsible for what is going to happen as I would feel that not all is on my shoulders.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

Share this post


Link to post

It's 'Ironic' that I came across this link seeing I had made a comment on Daniel's page about a couple of years ago, "All those that read the whole information/detail page above put up their hands ", to which there was only one reply!!! .... one from Daniel "I do" (LOL)

 

- I am referring to his #1 rated Earthcache in Hawai`i ~ Olivine (Mg,Fe)2SiO4 - DP/EC38

Share this post


Link to post

There are NO information signs near either of my Earthcaches. Therefore, I developed two questions for each that can only be answered on site and questions on geology that could be figured out on Google.

My newest Earthcache (published yesterday), has a very long college lecture on the geology of volcanoes. I ask that the person logging the Earthcache answer only one of the questions posed by the prof. I developed 2 questions that are much easier but you do have to visit the site.

If I think someone made an armchair log on any of my caches, I will give them a week to come up with a picture (GPS in hand) and the right answers.

Share this post


Link to post

If I think someone made an armchair log on any of my caches, I will give them a week to come up with a picture (GPS in hand) and the right answers.

Based on the GSA guidelines, photographs now must be optional unless "the requested photograph is related to an Earth Science logging activity such as recording a phenomenon."

 

Furthermore, "Cache owners may not delete the cacher's log based solely on optional tasks." It's my understanding, therefore, that you can request the right answers but not a picture.

 

Personally, I would have a difficult time providing a picture that includes my GPS. While I'll usually take pictures of EarthCache sites that I visit, they often are taken with the camera that is built into my GPS.

Share this post


Link to post

.........

If I think someone made an armchair log on any of my caches, I will give them a week to come up with a picture (GPS in hand) and the right answers.

 

This is another topic altogether but my view, now from a hardened and calloused EarthCacher's point of view is that there is only one looser in this process - the cheater! I don't bother with people like that anymore and they don't get a thank you for visiting note from me either.

Share this post


Link to post

It's 'Ironic' that I came across this link seeing I had made a comment on Daniel's page about a couple of years ago, "All those that read the whole information/detail page above put up their hands ", to which there was only one reply!!! .... one from Daniel "I do" (LOL)

 

- I am referring to his #1 rated Earthcache in Hawai`i ~ Olivine (Mg,Fe)2SiO4 - DP/EC38

 

I still do!

Merry Christmas everyone

Share this post


Link to post

It's 'Ironic' that I came across this link seeing I had made a comment on Daniel's page about a couple of years ago, "All those that read the whole information/detail page above put up their hands ", to which there was only one reply!!! .... one from Daniel "I do" (LOL)

 

- I am referring to his #1 rated Earthcache in Hawai`i ~ Olivine (Mg,Fe)2SiO4 - DP/EC38

 

I still do!

Merry Christmas everyone

 

AMAZING --- Over 61000, that is sixty-one thousand "Page Views"

Edited by Jake39

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2

×
×
  • Create New...