Technology Summit Looks at Influence of Tech on Outdoor Education
On April 7, 2015 the Technology and Nature Summit took a first-ever look at the way technology has influenced children’s interaction with the natural environment in an education setting. The conference agenda can be downloaded here.Conference Agenda
Tech In (and Outside) the Classroom: An Aquatic Science Pathway by Rudolph Rosen
The Texas Aquatic Science pathway was featured among presentations.
The presentation answers educators who ask, “How do I use all this cool interactive stuff when it really doesn’t fit into my teaching requirements or my curriculum?”
This is the question we faced as the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University and the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi set out to build various technology-enhanced and interactive education tools (especially mobile) to enhance education about water, headwaters (Meadows) to ocean (Harte).
In a meeting with educators, including a group from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, we were challenged to put all our cool technology-enhanced education tools into a real-life context where science teachers can actually use them. In response we set about building a very non-traditional curriculum: one that integrates extensive technology-based and interactive enhancements into a context of comprehensive aquatic science education teachers really could use.
The presentation is a description and discussion about that technology-integrated curriculum on aquatic science. The topic is discussed in a fashion generally applicable to any location, state, grade level and subject area in ecology.
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Tech in the Outdoors – A perspective
Many outdoor educators speak about a “devastating impact of technology” on children and young adults – – specifically their preference for technology over going outside. But, is it possible that using technology as a tool for education could enhance the experience of children outdoors through enhanced exploration and discovery?
Setting in front of technology hours after hours may not be so much a matter of choice as it is a requirement for many today. It probably is bad for our physical health and aspects of mental health. But, this is a broader issue than getting kids outdoors. Efforts to get children outdoors predates the current wave of technology. Parents pointed to televisions years ago, laying blame on that “technology” for capturing kids indoors where they sat in front of a tube. Now come new technologies, but at least this time the technology is small enough to put in your pocket and take along into the outdoors with you. Try and do that with an old fashioned TV! But there is a fundamental difference this time, with the new technology. This technology also permeates how we do our jobs, what jobs we do, and how we live. “Normal” life at home and on the job (at least in the US) is becoming inseparable from technology. Do we stop living normally when we reach the edge of the woods? Adults don’t. Professionals working in the outdoors don’t. Why should our children? These are among questions now being debated by educators who take children into the outdoors.