Last week I spoke at the MACUL Conference in Detroit, Michigan. One of the talks that I gave was titled 5 Ways to Blend Technology Into Outdoor Lessons. You can view the slides here, but they’re not worth much without my explanation of the key points. Those are outlined below.
Geocaching is an activity in which you use your mobile phone or a handheld GPS device to find hidden caches. You can find lists of caches in your area by logging into Geocaching.org and exploring the interactive map.
In digital mapping students can use Google’s My Maps, Google’s VR Tour Creator, ESRI, or Scribble Maps to create maps. All of those platforms will let students incorporate their own images and videos of interesting things they’ve found outside.
Students can also use Google’s My Maps to plan safe running and biking routes.
Pokemon Go was the first popular, mainstream use of augmented reality in outdoor settings. With tools like Metaverse you and your students can create own educational augmented reality applications to use outside. I recently used Metaverse to create an Amazing Race game and a couple of years ago I used it to create a history mystery game.
Project Noah is a program that I have been promoting for years. It’s a community-powered project (with some backing from National Geographic) in which users submit pictures and written observations of nature in their neighborhoods. There is a classroom version of Project Noah that provides projects for classrooms to complete together.
Does your class have a fitness goal? Perhaps a goal for a cumulative time spent playing outside in a week? Using Google Form along with a pivot table in Google Sheets is an easy way to track progress toward that goal. And starting in June you could use the Moki activity tracker to keep track of steps. Unlike activity trackers made for the general public, Moki doesn’t use Bluetooth or GPS tracking.
I’ll be talking about all of these ideas in much more detail in next week’s Practical Ed Tech webinar, 5 Ways to Blend Technology Into Outdoor Lessons.