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robynphd

Geocaching in a non-science course

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I teach a college course in decision making for MBA students. One of the skills we like to teach the students is how to look at the obvious and try to find the non-obvious...the thing that sticks out and is not the norm. I'm a caching addict and I think this would be an awesome thing to do in the course to get them thinking in a very different way about making decisions and not relying just on the obvious solution.

 

Has anyone had any experience with this...anything you'd recommend I have the students read in advance to be prepared? I'm also working with my local Caching group for help in the session. If it is weather permitting, we plan to cache on my campus where there are a number of caches, several of which I have placed myself. Any help you can offer or advice, is greatly appreciated!

 

Robyn

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While I don't think geocaching is the best way to do it, it could be done. The perfectly painted section of a slightly duller lightpole may be a metal plate with a cache behind it. Looking at trees and brush what looks like a branch was cut near the ground is a cleaverly camo'd cache-you can tell because the cache is perfectly round and branches are not. That "shine" in the grass you see is the path a previous cacher took to the cache(the grass is bent however slightly and therefore reflects light differently) It's not so much the obvious and the subtle differences that you just don't think about. If you watch mantracker-TV or youtube-watch the original with Terry Grant(a lot of what he shows is where people have been-while it won't show you the cache it will show where others-cachers-have been. I've found more than one cache this way). He shows how he tracks and a lot of that stuff is subtle, yet when you know about it, it is like a big neon sign. If you insist on caching-which you probably do-stick with WELL camo'd caches. Such as the ones where someone could watch you grab it from plain sight and not be able to find it themselves-unfortunately those are usually micros.

Edited by T.D.M.22

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Agreed...tracking is an important part of caching too...looking around for clues so that you are not just biased to going to the most obvious spot first...tracks in the snow...bent grass...well worn paths. I also want them to see how a flat sign could have a cache behind it...a log might have a cache drilled into it...a piece of moss might have a dna tube under it...I want them to realize things aren't always what they seem!

 

Thanks!

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@ robynphd:

 

What you want to show are things like:

 

Drilled/hollowed bolts -- when place properly, most anyone would never notice that it may well contain something inside (in case of a geocache, a log sheet).

Soda bottle cap -- laying upon the ground as a discarded item. Turn it over and viola, there's a log sheet within.

A bird house -- actually, a fake birdhouse with a false bottom, the cache or cache contents themselves are beneath the false bottom.

A fake electrical outlet or cover -- not necessarily a great idea (for obvious reasons), but say a cover plate that is in a spot where it has no business being there. The last I saw was a cover plate magnetically attached to a metal shoreline piling -- it had coordinates imprinted on the backside (a multi-cache stage). Emphasize that an electrical-looking device should be void of leads or wiring, or has absolutely no business being where it is......

 

Or... a "generated" hiding place. For example a large fungi or mushroom just laying on the ground. If it moves easily, turn it over to find that it is purely fake -- a created item -- with a geocache inserted from the bottom side. There are many things along this line, but one needs to "unloose" their brain.

 

Aside from those types of things, other things to notice (rather than foot trails and the like) are natural items arranged or piled unnaturally. We call these things "UPS" -- unnatural pile of sticks or unnatural pile of stone. Nature generally does not pile things up.

 

Intentionally drilling a hole into something (not yours) is strongly frowned upon. It is defacement. A recent thread regarding an archived cache where the reviewer discovered (in a roundabout fashion) that a cache owner had carved things into a dead tree stump. It caused somewhat of an uproar, but the point of the matter was that it was defacement -- dead stump or no -- therefore disallowed.

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I teach a college course in decision making for MBA students. ... I'm a caching addict and I think this would be an awesome thing to do in the course....

 

Robyn

 

You can point out that there is not a lot of difference between a CO and a CEO! :laughing:

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I teach a college course in decision making for MBA students. One of the skills we like to teach the students is how to look at the obvious and try to find the non-obvious...the thing that sticks out and is not the norm. I'm a caching addict and I think this would be an awesome thing to do in the course to get them thinking in a very different way about making decisions and not relying just on the obvious solution.

 

Has anyone had any experience with this...anything you'd recommend I have the students read in advance to be prepared? I'm also working with my local Caching group for help in the session. If it is weather permitting, we plan to cache on my campus where there are a number of caches, several of which I have placed myself. Any help you can offer or advice, is greatly appreciated!

 

Robyn

 

I am working on my Ed.d in education and during a literacy course I investigated geocaching activities through the advice of my professor and became hooked on the geocache adventure. I think any geo caching involvement is a great experience in any form or style. I have even used it in my own teaching for primary students and currently site my activity in this forum for a digital epistemology course . Hope this helps:)

 

Juls

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I teach a college course in decision making for MBA students. One of the skills we like to teach the students is how to look at the obvious and try to find the non-obvious...the thing that sticks out and is not the norm. I'm a caching addict and I think this would be an awesome thing to do in the course to get them thinking in a very different way about making decisions and not relying just on the obvious solution.

 

Has anyone had any experience with this...anything you'd recommend I have the students read in advance to be prepared? I'm also working with my local Caching group for help in the session. If it is weather permitting, we plan to cache on my campus where there are a number of caches, several of which I have placed myself. Any help you can offer or advice, is greatly appreciated!

 

Robyn

 

I am working on my Ed.d in education and during a literacy course I investigated geocaching activities through the advice of my professor and became hooked on the geocache adventure. I think any geo caching involvement is a great experience in any form or style. I have even used it in my own teaching for primary students and currently site my activity in this forum for a digital epistemology course . Hope this helps:)

 

Juls

 

I would seriously like to know how you use caching to teach epistemology. Does it have to do with what we know, think we know, etc., & how?

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I teach a college course in decision making for MBA students. One of the skills we like to teach the students is how to look at the obvious and try to find the non-obvious...the thing that sticks out and is not the norm. I'm a caching addict and I think this would be an awesome thing to do in the course to get them thinking in a very different way about making decisions and not relying just on the obvious solution.

 

Has anyone had any experience with this...anything you'd recommend I have the students read in advance to be prepared? I'm also working with my local Caching group for help in the session. If it is weather permitting, we plan to cache on my campus where there are a number of caches, several of which I have placed myself. Any help you can offer or advice, is greatly appreciated!

 

Robyn

 

I am working on my Ed.d in education and during a literacy course I investigated geocaching activities through the advice of my professor and became hooked on the geocache adventure. I think any geo caching involvement is a great experience in any form or style. I have even used it in my own teaching for primary students and currently site my activity in this forum for a digital epistemology course . Hope this helps:)

 

Juls

 

I would seriously like to know how you use caching to teach epistemology. Does it have to do with what we know, think we know, etc., & how?

 

If you are familiar with James Gee, Thomas &Brown, and Hayes & Duncan the course examines the practices of digital natives and how they are using technology in learning environments such as digital literacies. Geo caching not only fits into how humans demonstrate such practices but it also shows a community of learners participating in an affinity space both physically and digitally creating a new culture. So relevant to your question I think it's what we know, practice, and continue to learn as we travel through this new era of learning. Believe me teaching young children to follow directions thru caching is easier to learn thru context than trying to describe it through a reading.

Juls

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