Trying Something New: Goosechase

Early each summer holiday, the teacher in me finally takes the time to check out my Twitter feed and favourite blogs, and I allow myself to get led down the wormhole of  new ideas.  One new idea that I’m excited to try is called Goosechase.

goosechaseGoosechase is essentially a scavenger hunt app. The creator (me) creates a hunt or chooses from many pre-made versions from other users. Participants (my students in teams) download the app (or use a school device with the device already downloaded), log in (one team captain can do this for the team) and then find the specifically labeled hunt that I’ve created for them. Each team will then have to take and upload pictures or videos as requested, or I can also have them write text based answers.   The creator assigns points based on difficulty, and, as I understand it, can assign bonus points for particularly creative or clever responses.   Check out this quick video for a quick over view of Goosechase.

I’ve created a ‘hunt’ that I plan to use in my Social Studies 10 course on Globalization. Our first unit is a quick overview of the concept of globalization, and this goosechase hunt will have teams of students demonstrate their understanding of some of the basic concepts that we’ve covered in the first few days with a mixture of photo, video and text responses.  My concern is that this activity could take a long time to complete, so I might do a “most tasks/points complete in 20 minutes” kind of hunt.

I’m investing time in trying this new idea because it does several things that I like to promote in my classroom:

  • having students up and moving while they are learning
  • reviewing material in  a new and meaningful way that has them think and create, not just ‘regurgitate’ a list of terms on a sheet of paper
  • working in learning teams, at least some of the time
  • thinking critically – how will their photo/video quickly and accurately capture the desired concept?

As with anything new, there are also some drawbacks or concerns on the horizon:

  • This site is mostly based on a ‘paid’ basis. As an educator, I can request access for EACH hunt separately to play with my class, which I have done, but they really want me to buy the $119 “Classroom Tier” account.  Unfortunately, my school has very little budget for apps,etc.,  so if I want to continue to use Goosechase, I will have to email a ‘game request’ each time I create a new hunt. Hopefully this new start up company will continue to at least make this available for educators to try it out.
  • There are many ‘pre-made’ scavenger hunts, but most seem to be suitable for a youth group/team-building/family-reunion type activity. Therefore, like with most ed-tech sites, I will have to invest considerable time in creating learning activities that support our Canadian/Alberta curriculum
  • As mentioned above, this is an activity that will take time to play…. will the learning justify the time spent “playing”?

Despite these reservations,this is an app that I can’t seem to get off my brain. I have many other possibilities brewing for my other classes. So, hopefully I’ll be back in a few months with some insights into this new educational experience based on a live trial completed in my classroom.

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4 thoughts on “Trying Something New: Goosechase

  1. This sounds really cool! We’re not allowed to make students sign up for accounts unless the county has approved the app (which is a process that can take over a year – ugh). If you put the app on school devices, like iPads, would that be a work-around or would each use need a user email?

    • Hi Carrie,
      We don’t have the app-approval restriction that you do, but I can’t “require” a student to download anything, so I always have the school devices (iPads) as a back-up. We are just in the process of downloading the app to the school devices. From my experience, once the app is loaded, participants can just search the Game name that I’ve created and enter the password that I’ve put on the game. It sounds like this work around would work in your situation. I’d be interested in your progress.
      It will be about 3 weeks until I run this with a full class, and I will likely post about the experience, even if it was a disaster!

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