Technology, Kids and Snow
What is it about Technology and Kids these days? Did you know…“Children between the ages of six months and six years spend an average of 1.5 hours a day with electronic media, and youth between the ages of 8 and 18 spend an average of 6.5 hours a day with electronic media; that’s more than 45 hours a week!” (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2005 and 2006)
The research is shocking and leads me to continue to question, ” What is the best way to reconnect children to nature? How can we change these statistics?” Outdoor Classrooms offer children alternative places for learning and time away from electronics and technology. As Natural Teachers, would it be shortsighted for us not to consider technology as a teaching tool outdoors?
A little story for you about technology, kids and snow. Today we celebrated our first snow day. We played RISK, baked chocolate chip muffins and walked around the garden taking pictures. (yes…and snow shoveled too) When I invited my son to go outside to take pictures for this post, he jumped at the opportunity. He couldn’t believe I was inviting him to play around with technology outdoors.
When he came back in, we looked at these pictures together. Much to my delight, he came back with exactly what I was looking for. My goal was to collect artistic pictures that capture very intentional angles that can be used for outdoor teaching and learning. In watching my son take on this challenge, I wish I had captured a picture of him taking pictures. I had not seen this side of my son before, and was intrigued. I am rethinking the use of technology outdoors.
While admiring the pictures, I pointed out how many of the pictures offered Math Outdoors. It was fun to discover the abundance of angles, shapes and lines outdoors and thanked him for his fine work.
The greater lesson was watching how technology transformed my son’s outdoor experience into a innovative opportunity to look at our natural surroundings a little differently.
It is time to hear from you? What do you see? Math Outdoors? Art Outdoors? or Science Outdoors? What do you think about incorporating technology into your Outdoor Classroom? Can you think of any nature based activities using these pictures from our first snow day? Leave a comment below.