Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Geocaching with iPhone

More Learning Fun
While checking out the geocaching website, I saw one of the thousands of apps for an iPhone - Geocaching with the iPhone- only $10! Even in this small town of about 2500 people, there are geocaches! Going out this morning to check out the one that is only .3 miles from my home and on the way to school. Ideas fly with using this technology for education. Of course it easily fits into 4th grade and up with the latitude and longitude, but can also work into so many other categories. Some of the amazing uses are introducing information, reviewing information, combining subjects--concrete examples:
  • one geocache for each of the 5 common verterbrates (mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians) or add the 2 common inverterbrates for 7 geocaches, (insects and spiders)
  • one geocache for each of the basic soil types (sand, silt, clay)
  • one geocache for each of the 7 biomes (tundra, taiga, temperate forest, tropical rain forest, desert, grassland, ocean)
  • one geocache for a food chain list (from sun to plant to rabbit to fox - 2nd grade)
    And the list goes on.

    There are simple geocache handhelds on the website, too. Working in groups of 2-5, students can share the jobs and experience collaborative learning as they locate, define, process, and record information.
  • Thursday, July 16, 2009

    Good-bye to NC Teacher Academy

    Today we pack up, leave the dorm, go to breakfast, go to class - typical student day. In class, we finish our projects, upload them to moodle, complete reflections, and wrap up our details. It has been an interesting class. We have enjoyed the week very much. We have some really good ideas to implement next year. Thanks, Teacher Academy!

    We'll have an interesting conversation in the car as we polish-up our ideas to implement geocaching, PhotoStory3, and Senteo's in our classrooms.

    Wednesday, July 15, 2009

    PhotoStory 3

    Tuesday had us reading The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman and using the pictures we had taken on Monday while pursuing the geocaches. This was put together in PhotoStory3 as a beginning project.

    Wednesday had us completing Oliver and beginning a curriculum based PhotoStory3. We listened to grant writing suggestions and saw a video on allowing 21st century skills in schools.

    Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    Geocaching - Monday, July 13, 2009

    Wet and rainy - 15 caches to locate. Can we do it? We found 11 out of 15 while juggling rain gear, umbrellas, cameras, voice recorders, logging responses on paper, and thunder/lightning. Later we found one of the caches had the wrong coordinates. Great food and some rest refreshed us.

    Monday, July 13, 2009

    GeoCaching - NC Tech Teacher Academy

    Today we're off - we are a team 6 - to locate 15 caches around ECU. Lots of walking, maybe some rain (80% chance) but only 80 degrees! Should be fun - after a few tries, we can try some digital recording for an introductory student video. Students you are going to love this!

    Geocaching is an electronic scavenger hunt. Using satellite technology, the gps locates several satellites and the reader screen has a latitude and longitude and altitude.

    We are using a digital camera, an audio recorder, a gps unit, and being the lucky 4th person on the team, I will be using the hd digital camera to record (love being behind the camera instead of in front of the camera).

    Cool - we can really use these skills to locate historical locations in and around Forsyth County and share with other 4th grade classes in NC. We are in the piedmont region and would love to share with schools in the mountains and coastal plains.

    Sunday, July 12, 2009

    Teacher Tech Academy - Our Adventure Begins


    Mrs. Howard, Mrs. McDermon, Ms. Leonard, and Mrs. Throckmorton (all teachers at Rural Hall School) began a great adventure traveling to ECU for the 21st Century Classroom: Digital Learning Environment at NC Teacher Academy.

    The fun began in the car on the 214 mile trip from Rural Hall to Greenville. We laughed and shared ideas for next year. Talked about vacations, good books to read, and had some "catch up" time that teachers rarely get. We had a great meal and fantastic accommodations in a spacious new dorm. The first class was an introduction to the locals at the University and the instructors for this week.
    Goals:
  • 21st century strategies
  • 21st century technology tools
  • GPS devices, GeoCaching, digital cameras
  • Google Earth, Picasa, Audacity, Audio recorders
  • PhotoStory 3, Grantwriting, Moodle, Smart Software

    Monday - 1st Full Day - GeoCaching - Will we get lost? We will survive the summer southern heat? WIll we have fun? Yes! Tune in tomorrow for the fun details!
  • Friday, July 10, 2009

    NC Technology Teacher Academy

    On Sunday afternoon, I go with a team of 4th grade teachers from my school to East Carolina University for a 5 day class in 21st century technology skills. This is an active grade level and we should have a lot of fun while learning new ways to involve and interest students in cooperative, interactive learning. Watch for updates.