Target 3 – Flexible Learning Environments. FWSU will maximize flexible learning environments by redefining the school day, promoting learning experiences that extend beyond the school classroom, and fostering creativity, innovation, and differentiated learning opportunities for all.
Action Step 1: Provide students w/ access to content, resources, and methods for learning beyond the school day and beyond the school walls.
Indicator of success: Students are engaged in answering authentic questions and solving problems in collaborative settings.
As a part of this year’s FWSU Administration retreat, principals and administrators were asked to get outside their comfort zone and challenge themselves to learn how GPS technology can be integrated into an educational setting.
To start, staff were introduced to Geocaching. Geocaching is the recreational activity of hunting and finding a hidden object by means of GPS coordinates. Geocaching is the real-world treasure hunt that’s happening right now, all around you. There are 2,484,378 active geocaches and over 6 million geocachers worldwide. You can find more about geocaching by visiting the Geocaching website. FWSU recently purchased a set of GPS devices for all schools to use with students.
After a brief introduction, staff were challenged with finding the hidden geocaches. Once they found a hidden cache, they had to complete a challenge in order to receive the GPS coordinates for the next cache. Despite some difficulty getting started, the teams preserved and met all of the challenges one by one.
As they completed the challenges, the administrators then tweeted their responses including images of geometry in the area, written poems, and images of STEM Challenges.
This activity helped our school leaders see how this type of flexible learning can be easily applied to student learning. Geocaching challenges foster community and encourages a growth mindset for both staff and students.