Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Creativity, QRCodes and Geocaching

This week some colleagues carried out an activity, combining the use of QRCodes and geocaching. It was part of a collaborative experience and sharing of knowledge after a team meeting. (Check a short explanation of QRCodes here).
We organised the route to suit a walk back from a lunch break and used the QRCodes and code readers on iPhones to scan and then locate the prize - a heritage item (40mm anti aircraft gun) located in the middle of Port Road at Hindmarsh.
One member of the group, Paul created the original QRCode for the team and had secreted another at the spot. Once found and scanned, the QRCode link provided the essential additional information we needed, via a mobile site Paul had created.

My Flickr photo (Southoz) shows the team in the vicinity of the heritage 'bofors gun' as we checked out Paul's mobile site after scanning the hidden QRCode.
Next, the team intended to use an iPhone app to locate a geocache nearby that was created as part of a previous teacher workshop. This geocache has been registered on since 2004 (Pathway to the sea and hills) GCHTVX - check the Google map on the site in the vicinity of the brewery at Thebarton.

It is a traditional cache, easy level of difficulty and easy terrain, to suit a group pf teachers getting started with geocaching. The site provides a very useful clue to locate the geocache.
It has been discovered quite a few times in the past 5 years and is in need of a little TLC. Geocaching is even more popular now as an adventure activity, especially for family groups.

There is a lot of potential in using Geocaching and QRCodes creatively in education - literacy, numeracy, ICT, problem solving, teamwork and collaboration. The greater shift towards mobile and anywhere, anytime learning, increasing accessibility and connectedness and new tools make this easier than before.

I recently discovered the excellent BeQRious site (via my Twitter PLN) which has a generator and many examples of use of QRCodes in a range of settings. Check my Delicious bookmarks for QRCodes for other links.

Another area of interest is augmented reality and I am currently exploring Layar.and Google Goggles. Check the video.
Augmented Planet also has an interesting recent post on Google Goggles and Augmented Reality.

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