Learning about Geocaching

This week I had the opportunity to participate in my first Geocaching activity.  Geocaching is like going on a treasure hunt using GPS devices instead of a treasure map.  There are many different kind of “caches” or treasures that are hidden by various people participating in the activity.  We worked together in groups using our GPS devices to navigate to the coordinates where our caches were located.  This can be done using a traditional GPS device or various apps on iOS or Android devices.

There was a learning curve in the beginning figuring out how to best utilize the device to navigate our route, but once we got rolling my group was able to locate our various caches.  This was a fun activity and something I not only plan to try out more on my own, but I see tremendous potential for using with students.

Check out the video below for an introduction to Geocaching.

The Tech Integrator


Virginia students to take less SOL tests during 2014-15 school year


The governor of Virginia signed into law an action that would reduce some of the Standards of Learning tests that Virginia students will have to take beginning next school year, according to the above article from The Washington Post.

At the elementary level, students in 3rd grade will no longer have to take the Science and Social Studies SOL tests, and the 5th grade Writing SOL test will no longer take place.

This could be the first step in reducing the emphasis on judging students and teachers based on the results of the SOL tests.  This could lead to more authentic learning experiences and assessment of student learning in those areas because there is no longer the pressure of a “test” to prepare them for.  The other viewpoint may occur as well, those that may look at this decision as a negative, seeing the potential for even more emphasis and pressure on how well students do on math and reading SOL tests, and decreasing the time allotted to authentically teaching science, social studies or writing in those grade levels.

What are your thoughts on the decision to reduce some of the SOL tests taken by students beginning next year?  Feel free to reply with your thoughts.

Til next week…

The Tech Integrator