Geocaching: an example of Open and Social Learning
Are you familiar with Geocaching?
Geo (geography) cache (hidden treasure) is the word used to describe a global game of hide and seek. It’s a fun, outdoor activity that provides a great example of an offline activity (walking outside) and an online activity (using GPS to track a position) merging for mutual benefit (see the 75 second video below for more details).
Geocaches are small waterproof boxes containing a log for the finder to sign and sometimes a knick-knack of some sort or other. The finder can replace the treasure with something else of similar value. There are millions of geocaches hidden around the world: you’re probably within a few hundred feet of one right now!
Finding a geocache requires a GPS device, such as your phone. A good place to start is www.opencaching.com or www.geocaching.com, or you can download a geocaching app from Apple’s App Store or the Android Play Store.
Geocaching is a form of Open and Social Learning
Geocaching is an Open and Social activity: anyone can take part and anyone can leave tips to help others. Discovering new caches is rewarding, fun and can be educational.
The Learning Line from Coracle is an Open and Social Learning platform: users benefit from the ability to record offline activities (e.g., read a book, attend a lecture etc) and online activities (e.g., followed structured e-learning content, discovered useful video on YouTube etc..) Discovering new things to learn is rewarding, fun and can be educational.
At the core of the Coracle approach is a belief that learning is more than a simple transfer of knowledge and that the learning can come about any source, when the right social tools are in place. We’ve written more on this topic here.
If Geocaching is the world’s answer to a global game of Hide and Seek, where the hunter seeks treasure in the form of a plastic box, then the ‘I Learnt This’ button is Coracle’s answer to a global game of Hide and Seek, where the hunter seeks treasure in the form of nuggets of knowledge.
For instance, let’s imagine that you’re following a structured course on management techniques such as conflict management, time management and decision making. Your progress through the structured course material is recorded on the Learning Line, but you’re interested in finding additional background information on something you found in the course, e.g., the management theorists, Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, and Coulter. Naturally you head to Google to see what you can find. You watch a video of a talk explaining their categories of decision making styles. You think the lecture is great and you want to remember it for future reference. With Coracle’s Learning Line, you simply hit the ‘I Learnt This’ button and the link will be added to your Learning Line. In this way, your Learning Line starts to give a picture of your learning as it happens in real life, not just as it happens according a structured course. We’ve written about this in the past here.
One of the challenges that the team at Coracle enjoy wrestling with is that of finding ways to allow our users to discover new caches of learning and to help them record their learning journey. One example has been the development of a programme by Coracle that allows Learning Line statements to be generated directly from Google Drive. You can find out more about this here.