2. What went well in your project?
No one got lost, the students and teachers had a good time and learnt a lot about locations in our own suburb, Auckland Domain, and how to get from one place to another in the Auckland CBD and north head. The students managed to get on really well and worked hard to complete the challenges that were posed to them.
I got to do something I enjoyed.
One of the interesting things was the responses to the text about what was positive.
I likes the 2nd day when we used the GPS thingie. It was way better than the third day.
Coming first on the first day. Im happy that our group did not cheat and did not use other groups to win. We played fairly and we gave it our best! I had heaps of fun! But not when I saw the possem. Lol. I am disappointing that we did not come first =’(.. But oh well.
Hi Sir, I particularly like when we went on the ferry to Devonport. It was fun.
We won man, we won, we came 1st overall
I fully enjoyed the whole event! The clues, the running around the awesome teamwork! I loved the ferry to Devonport! Mint Az, asking people random stuff! But the best part would have been knowing that our team worked hard and didn’t give up and held each other strong. Ooh and the great workout! Hehe. Thanks Sir.
Getting leaded to another area – train tracks! And winning today
Coming first on the first day and the second day.
For the future in the distance and the good that we can do. It just so happened that this was one of their final clues at Albert Park.
3. What improvements would you make to your project next time?
The street orienteering had issues on the first day, I managed to make a couple of the clues too cryptic and hard for the students to get the answer. Travel times on the train, I think I need to leave around 9:00 next time, not 9:25.
Bookings on the, not leave it to late again, having one person at school dealing with transport, rather than every group organising there own, especially with the train, many people getting confused when other groups where travelling.
Possibly less puzzles and more caches in the domain exercise, the students enjoyed finding these and texting the puzzle back in them.
Possibly another question at North head next time, as it seemed to be a race up and back to the ferry. Though thinking about it, it was good for them to have that demand put on them at the start.
Don’t rely on GPS software – I used easyGPS and google earth to come up with a puzzle for use at Victoria Park for them to use coordinates to write SKYCITY using their GPS units, this failed because the GPS was not able to go up to the numbers that were shown on the computer.
To collect the caches on the day, due to timing and other issues, tiredness and setting up the next day we were unable to go and collect the geocaches on Wednesday night, instead there were picked up on Friday morning. Losing one of the caches, though it has been interesting getting texts from the public texting the codes in from one of the caches “regeneration” in the domain. I think I received about 6 texts from people that had found this one.
4. What evidence of the students displaying the key competencies in your project did you see over the 3 days?
Where do I start with this one?
Thinking - students had to make sense of the maps, gps coordinates, and puzzles that lead them to various clues, caches and other various tasks. They had to use previous knowledge to solve the final clue on thursday, which was to get the railway stations that we stopped at the previous day in order from location to newmarket south. Some managed this within 30 seconds, others took 15 minutes.
Using Language, symbols and text - this is what the three days was about, there were puzzles, decrypts to solve a puzzle on where caches were, they also had to solve technological puzzles and questions through map reading, gps waypoints and marking where they were.
Managing Self - Self motivation to complete the puzzles and caches were a key factor in this project. The students had a can-do attitude which was evident when we got off the ferry and they had to make their way to victoria park market. The teachers did this in 25 minutes the previous week, the students did it in 10 minutes. The students also had to manage what credit they had on their phone, the SIM cards were provided by 2 degrees and they had loaded money on them for us. It was great to see then respecting this. As for the ferry, they knew when the times were and when they had to be back, all of them arrived within the hour of getting to north head and back before the ferry left.
Relating to others - one of the amazing things throughout this was that the students looked after each other, and the teachers. The negotiated what puzzles and caches they had to go to, what was the best for them. Looking at the north head, they looked at their team members and went, we will go to the top, answer the question and come back down, you rest a while so we can run back to the ferry.
Participating and Contributing - A common purpose soon became evident in this project, to beat the other teams, but there was also something else that came about, it was the concern for the other teams, if a team didn't turn up on time, the others became concerned for them and their safety. Especially when it came to the person following one team, which they rang for help, through it ended up being a possum in a tree.
The GPS units and the software I used to program the coordinates in did not match up for the Victoria Park exercise which means we had to come up with another puzzle for the students to do, it also meant the students were able to come together, talk about what they had done so far, and talk about strategy, which two teams came together to create one. I will have to think about this factor next year about teams getting together for next year.
5. What thoughts do you have about the duration/ timing in the year/ planning time and process?
Planning time, possibly not enough, though most of the planning had to take place near the time the event is run as things are ever changing in the locations that we went to. If it was to be run at another time of year there would not be some of the puzzles in place, I.e count the number of mice in the smith and caughey shop window. This only happens around xmas.
The domain caches need to be setup the night before, though I had been out to the domain the previous three weekends for planning.
Duration, three days was enough, the students probably could have not coped with another full on day of activity.
Timing of the year, it was evident when we jumped on the train and ferry in town, other schools had the same idea as us, though most of them seemed to be primary schools running around. I have to be wary of this next year if using the tunnels as there was a primary school in the tunnels as well.
6. What support would you like to see provided when we do this again in 2010?
Support, I have managed to over spend, by quite a bit, as when we were originally asked what costs would be and ideas, all I thought was transport, but getting the GPS devices, we were originally going to hire these, but the place did not have enough in stock, and they were the wrong type of units, more of one sitting on the dash board of your car. Then getting the items for the caches, not thinking about water or some food for the students. It kind of got out of hand. Though 2degrees did step up and help with providing 36 SIM cards with $8 loaded on each, and Veolia did help out with providing us with a discount on the train travel on day two, which helped fund the teachers travel. I don't want it to go over $20, but looking at all the costs involved; it would have cost the students $75 dollars each. I think I would like a little bit of funding help to be able to run this again, as I see costs as a big issue when doing Education Outside the Classroom
7. Overall organization - what would you like to see changed/improved/done differently?
Better timelines, I know I was lucky to be running the online selection, but the timelines for things seemed to be constantly changing, instead of one person to go to, I had two people, and things not being communicated between the two. Sometimes I felt like the piggy in the middle. I would like to see a cut off when a selection gets too big. One of the things that scared me was when 175 students signed up and around 150 of them turned up outside the Block for the first meeting. I never thought that there would be this much interest.
8. Any new ideas for projects?
Not yet, I think I am getting over this one at the moment. I have had this in my head for a while, and when I was at ulearn09, the ICT conference, I was chatting with an exhibitor about the GPS devices and the workshop that they were running on geocaching. I think I need some time to think about it.
I am a person who wants to do something different each year, I don’t think I can do the same thing, year after year. It is like my teaching. Never the same stuff. Technology changes all the time, and so do I.