Growing the Future: Using Technology to Connect Kids to Nature

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Learn why and how connecting kids to nature is so important.

Published in: Environment, Education, Technology
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Growing the Future: Using Technology to Connect Kids to Nature

  1. 1. Growing the Future: Leveraging Technology to Connect Families with Nature
  2. 2. Objectives • Change perceptions that technology limits exposure to nature – Demonstrate that nature can be put in the hands of technology to provide better access and connection to nature • Demonstrate that nature is a critical component in the development of the whole child • Gain familiarity with naturerocks.org and natureworkseverywhere.org sites and their offerings • Highlight the simplicity of the solution to an environmental challenge the category faces
  3. 3. Background Experiences in nature as a child significantly impact support for the environment as an adult. • Direct experience with nature is the most highly cited influence on attitude and activism. Childhood participation with “wild” nature (e.g., hiking, camping, playing in the woods) had a significant, positive effect on adult attitudes and behaviors. Family experiences in nature are the top source cited that leads to commitment to environmental protection as an adult.
  4. 4. Nature Does a Body Good Evidence shows that nature improves the lives of kids • Outdoor play, nature experiences provide benefits via improved cognitive functioning, self-discipline, emotional well- being and reduced ADD symptoms Time spent in nature is declining • Overscheduled kids and parents • Homework • Discomfort with nature itself • Technology • US children spend about 30 minutes/week of unstructured time outdoors compared to nearly 53 hours/week spent using screens The lack of time that children spend in nature concerns the general public and parents. • 82% of US parents feel that time spent in nature is very important to their child’s development
  5. 5. Being in nature is essential to a well- balanced day for children, akin to drinking milk, reading or using a computer.
  6. 6. Nature in the hands of Technology Concern around lack of time spent in nature, in particular around the perceived trade-off for technologically inspired activities Technology can be used to drive the outdoor experience and children’s interaction with nature while Nature Rocks, a hands-on online platform, provides families with the tools they need to easily immerse themselves in nature.
  7. 7. Using technology to drive the outdoor experience A digitally based hands-on learning resource that inspires and empowers families with young children to play and explore together in nature.
  8. 8. Using technology to drive the outdoor experience Activities Location Finder
  9. 9. Bringing Nature into the Classroom Learning Resources Curriculum
  10. 10. Designed to create an interactive experience with nature for students, Nature Works Everywhere uses a standardized online curriculum
  11. 11. Nearly 1million downloads from Nature Works Everywhere. In a recent Nature Rocks survey, 51% of respondents stated the program helped their families spend more time outdoors.

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