Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Review of Garmin eTrex Venture HC GPS Receiver


With a new high-sensitivity chipset, the Garmin Venture HC GPS receiver helps you get off the beaten path without losing your signal.

Great GPS to use with young folks

Dowbiggin San Jose, CA 3/28/2009


4 5

Gift: No

Pros: Accurate, Reliable Reception, Large Screen, Intuitive Menu

Best Uses: Geocaching, Hiking

Describe Yourself: Enthusiast

How are you with directions: Great w/Directions

I bought twenty of these to use with students in grades four and up. The kids learn how to use them super-quick, and they navigate the menus with no trouble at all within minutes. Many adults take a bit longer, but once they get the hang of it, they're "in." I find that it did not take long to set the units up to have the menus and pages I wanted. A few times the kids went in and changed things (it's THAT easy to do) before I got a chance to tell them not to do so.



Richard Navarrete said...


I ran across your blog when looking up info on the eTrex GPS. I'll be with a group of kids in Yosemite in a week and we'll have a few GPS with us. Can you give me a few ideas of GPS activities to do with the kids? I'm a GPS newbie and am still trying to figure out how to work the thing!



Diane E. Main, GCT NorCal 2006 said...

Think of how GPS could enhance what you're already doing. Are there places where you could mark the coordinates and then plot them in Google Earth when you return home? You can import GPS tracks from Garmin receivers into the most recent (free) version of Google Earth as well. (You need to keep the GPS units switched on for them to keep track of your "tracks.")

Here is a link to the site I use for keeping all kinds of information related to using GPS receivers in education (along with geocaching and Google Earth resources):

If you have enough lead time to prepare, you can mark coordinates (enter them into the GPS receivers manually) for specific locations you want to reach. Find places in Google Earth, and then center in on them. The coordinates should show up at the bottom of your Google Earth screen. Also, if you can get ahead of the students, you could hide items for them to find at particular locations. These could be small camouflaged containers they pick up and/or that contain questions or activities the kids need to do when they find them.

Please remember: anything you hide MUST be taken away with you (don't forget any of them!) and should NEVER contain any kind of edible items.

I hope this helps. I am off this Tuesday through Friday to Marin Headlands with my 6th graders, and I plan to bring the GPS units and some small camouflage-painted mint tins to set up some kind of geocaching game up there for our "free time." I am also doing an outside activity with a group of fourth graders tomorrow, in which they learn about latitude and longitude and use GPS receivers.

Please feel free to e-mail directly and tell me how your adventures go! (I'll be incommunicado this week, though.)