As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew I received the Educaching Manual Electronic Version, from Educaching, in exchange for my honest review of the materials. Educaching is an innovative curriculum that implements the use of GPS technology to teach all subject areas. The curriculum is geared towards students 4th-8th grades, but any age could benefit. The PDF file was securely sent to me from SDG Creations, Ltd. As they explain, the Global Positioning System is becoming more common in our everyday lives. This curriculum explains how it works, and then incorporates the technology into the lesson to make an exciting hands-on learning experience. The manual describes Educaching as a mix between Hide and Seek, a treasure hunt, and learning experience all wrapped into one adventure! What an awesome way to get your student up and out! If your child is like mine, they would rather learn by moving, doing and using their hands along with their brain. This is going to be a fun fit for our family.
Please note, when we signed up to review this innovative curriculum my husband's phone had the technology for such adventures. Unfortunately, we are without the phone currently but do plan to implement these lessons in 2010. We actually think these lessons would be great to build a sense of teamwork among youth in a church or community, as well. We are also passing on the information about the curriculum to various group leaders, such as those of Boy Scout troops and the like.
The manual and curriculum, developed by a creative team of professionals, is broken down into five sections. The sections are easy to follow. I found the entire manual very user-friendly. I was not very familiar with the concept or the technology before reading the manual. I am excited to find something that so wonderfully brings learning to life. Both the teacher and students will benefit from such an activity.
The curriculum involves using the GPS to locate clues and then a treasure that you the teacher have hidden. The students seek knowledge through probing and discovering.
Each discovery asks them to do an activity to further their knowledge. You may have them fill out field sheets throughout the course of the hunt. At the end, you gather back together to discuss and share findings. Assessment's are given and further projects may be done. While this will take planning and some work on your part, I think the rewards will far out way any effort on my part. Understand also, this is not just a Math and Science curriculum. The curriculum was developed to meet National Standards in Math, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, Technology, and the Fine Arts. Does it seem a bit overwhelming? It did to me at first. As I read the manual though, I became more and more at ease about trying this. Let's discuss the manual.
The Manual begins with teacher training where you will review the basics of the technology and be given hands-on activities to familiarize and train your students before beginning the hunt. Next are twenty lesson plans of varying skill levels.
I was glad to see that these meet up with National Standards, and that these standards are listed. I found this very helpful. It let me see immediately how this curriculum could work within our yearly plan. The template section provides printable activity sheets for you to give your students. Included in these are field sheets for your students to fill out as they participate in the hunt.
There is a section on ways schools and groups could acquire the GPS equipment. An article on grant writing is included, an ideas for fundraising. I am imagining how wonderful of a project this could be for Homeschool Co-op's and Umbrella Schools.
You could engage older students in learning the grant writing process, in fundraising activities and the like. You could get the younger students helping with all types of fundraisers. Upon completing the process of acquiring the technology for your group, imagine all the lessons covered! Then, let the hunt for learning begin! What pride the children would take in their lessons. Lastly, there is a section on how you could continue this learning experience by developing an Educaching Club. This is a "Beyond the Basics" section. Included are activities such a club to do. This a way a school could also expand the lessons beyond the classroom experience.
As I said earlier, we hope to implement these in 2010. Our eleven year old son hopes to gather his closest friends into the project. I guess you could say we hope to start our own little club. About five boys will embark on adventures to hunt and learn. Be sure and check back in with us at the end of the school year for pictures and stories about our adventures!
Titles of lessons include such titles as " Dino Discovery" and "Experiencing the Pyramids", "Show Me the Money", and "Which Tree is Which"? Ask yourself, "What areas of your curriculum could be enhanced through the use of educaching?". Visit the Educaching website. Download some free samples while there. You can read other reviews of this curriculum at the Homeschool Crew website.
"SDG Creations, Ltd. is a team of Christian men and women that share a common purpose to glorify almighty God with the use of their talents and abilities."