Geocaching, learning, and nature in a location-aware sport
Burns, Patrick John
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Geocaching, an outdoor recreation activity that uses mobile digital technology combined with online social networks to find outdoor hidden treasure, has gained a strong following of geocachers worldwide. This phenomenological study explored the lived experiences of geocachers as they described connections between themselves, fellow geocachers, informal learning, nature, and technology while engaged in the sport of geocaching. The descriptive phenomenology of Husserl and the methodology of Colaizzi provided the context and structure for this study. Geocachers while involved in geocaching activities participated in self-directed, informal, and incidental learning. Geocachers were motivated to participate in geocaching to experience nature, explore and discover, and to connect with other geocachers. The implications for this research will lead to a better understanding of how geocachers perceive their connections to learning, other geocachers, nature, and technology. Findings from this study are of interest to a range of educators, environmental communicators, and park and land managers.
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