Each year, the Alaska Society of Technology Education (ASTE) hosts a large technology conference for educators across the state. In February 2020, 400 educators from around the state gathered for the 40th annual ASTE conference. As a way to commemorate the 40th anniversary of ASTE, educators from the Yukon Koyukuk School District put together a conference wide GooseChase Event.
Note: This is a guest post and testimonial from a previous GooseChase EDU Organizer that includes helpful tips for future organizers of similar events.
GooseChase is a scavenger hunt application that can amplify the conference experience. Participants are tasked to complete missions that require them to provide text, GPS location, videos or pictures. They are rewarded points for completing each mission. At the end of the game, the participant with the most points is crowned champion. Throughout the game, the participants have the opportunity to meet new people, form relationships through funny missions and learn more about what the conference has to offer. When deciding whether to incorporate a Goosechase into your conference event, the answer is a simple, yes!
When planning for a large-scale Goosechase game, there are five tips to keep in mind:
Tip #1: “Teamwork makes the dream work” when creating and moderating a GooseChase game! The ASTE GooseChase had over 100 missions with thousands of submissions. Our team had multiple people monitoring the game and moderating submissions. Don’t forget to be in constant communication with the fellow game hosts to prevent duplicate missions!
The ASTE GooseChase game was created by members of the Yukon Koyukuk School District. From left to right: Chelsea Hurst, Instructional Technology Supervisor, Christina Hum, AK Grad Teacher and STEM Coordinator, and Luke Meinert, Assistant Superintendent.
Tip #2: When creating missions, provide a large variety related to the conference experience. Every year, ASTE hosts their event in the historic and famous Captain Cook Hotel, located in Anchorage. The hotel is lush with art, history and artifacts around Captain Cook, making it the perfect location for a plethora of historic trivia missions for the game. Therefore, many of the lower point missions included trivia questions related to the hotel’s history and decor. Other missions were related to events throughout the conference. For example, participants could earn points by completing missions with specific vendors or attending the social events. Do you want to promote a specific portion of the conference? Create several missions around it!
Sample missions from the 40th annual ASTE Conference GooseChase
Tip #3: Now that you’ve considered what type of missions to include, you must consider when to release missions. While a GooseChase game should start with a lot of missions, it is important to use the automation feature to keep participant interest throughout a a multi-day conference. Use the game script to plan out the time and date you want each mission to release.
To encourage participation in the ASTE Birthday Party event, several missions were automated to release throughout the course of the game.
Tip #4: Use the announcement feature to help participants stay up to date on what is happening across the game, and to maintain interest and participation. At the end of each day, the moderators sent out an announcement with the current leaderboard. These announcements would inspire the leaders to complete more missions to continue their reign or motivate those who are close behind to earn more points.
The 2020 ASTE GooseChase Winners! Ryan, Fairbanks Catholic Schools, Bri, Fairbanks Catholic Schools and Heather, Wrangell Public Schools.
Tip #5: A GooseChase game should always include bonuses! Within the ASTE game, participants could earn bonus points by posting certain missions to social media. In addition, the moderators encouraged creativity by awarding bonus points to unique mission submissions.One participant, Michelle Spillane, teacher at Ryan Middle School, mentioned how she completed several “crazy” mission bonuses because she was “desperate for points”. We found that the more bonuses we awarded, the quality of the submissions improved.
Michelle Spillane, teacher at Ryan Middle School, earned bonus points for taking a picture with the AK Grad Flyer! AK Grad sponsored the prizes for the GooseChase game winners.
Overall, GooseChase had a positive impact on the ASTE conference experience. Throughout the conference, participants left their comfort zone to meet new people and attend social events they normally may have skipped. Participants could be seen laughing and having fun with educators from all around the state. While GooseChase provided conference attendees with many fond memories, most teachers felt inspired to use GooseChase in their own classrooms. Laura Davies, teacher in Wrangell Alaska, mentioned that she had “never heard of Goosechase before, and she could not wait to use it with her students”. During this time of global pandemic, GooseChase can be used to increase engagement and excitement from students at home!
Teachers from Wrangell Public Schools pose with teachers from Cordova School District for the “Make New Friends” Mission.
“Caution: GooseChase can be addictive! Employ with extreme caution. Prepare for extreme silliness. GooseChase facilitates a fun, competitive backchannel full of engagement and entertainment for conference attendees” - Tana Martin, Librarian, Tanana Middle School
Tana Martin, Librarian at Tanana Middle School, completing the “Become an Eagle” Mission.
Heather Howe, teacher from Wrangell Public Schools, and Amanda Gray, teacher from Delta/Greely School District complete the mission requiring them to find a teacher from another school who teaches the same content area.
About the Author: Chelsea Hurst is a Instructional Technology Supervisor for the Yukon Koyukuk School District in rural Alaska. In her position, Chelsea helps educators incorporate instructional technology tools, including GooseChase, into the classroom. In addition, Chelsea serves as a Google for Education Certified Trainer, empowering educators across the state to incorporate Google for Education tools into their daily practice. Connect with Chelsea online!
What is GooseChase?
GooseChase is an online platform that helps educators create and run digital scavenger hunt learning experiences in their classroom and beyond. Sign up and try creating a game, or contact us to learn more about our school and district-wide solutions!