Bloomers! Technology + Nature


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  • Bloomers! Technology + Nature

    1. 1. Nature + Technology in the classroom + at home 1
    2. 2. Nature 2
    3. 3. Ways to explore Nature • “What would our world be without a tree, a flower, or a blade of grass?” • Not only is nature beautiful but spending time in it is really good for you! • Here are just a few of the many ways you can explore nature with children: • Go outside! • Hike • Camp • Botanical gardens • Parks • Play with Dirt • Garden 3
    4. 4. Benefits of nature: “There is no way that we can help children to love and preserve this planet, if we don’t give them direct experiences with the miracles and blessings of nature” –Anita Olds5 • Health • Happiness • Intelligence “Go out and get your hands dirty!” 4
    5. 5. Health “Time in nature is not leisure time; its an essential investment in our children’s health” –Richard Louv 2• Playing in nature can positively impact children’s health and well-being 2 • Therapeutic and restorative 2 • Pain reduction • Vitamin D • Exercise 2 • Combat: obesity, asthma, type 2 diabetes, ADD/ADHD 2• Outdoor play is essential to getting children active and the American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to get their children outside as much as possible1• In the last 30 years childhood obesity has more then tripled 6 5
    6. 6. Happiness: Mental Well-being • A Child with little connection to and love of our earth is like a rudderless ship lost at sea • Stress Reduction • Can mitigate attention and behavior disorders 2 • Nature is soothing • Nature buffers the impact of life stresses on children and helps them deal with adversity. The greater the amount of nature exposure, the greater the benefits 5 • Play in a diverse natural environment reduces or eliminates bullying 5 • Children who play in nature have more positive feelings about each other 5 • Nature stimulates social interaction 6
    7. 7. Intelligence • Children with views of and contact with nature score higher on tests of concentration and self-discipline 5 • When Children play in natural environment, their play is more diverse with imaginative and creative play that fosters language and collaborative skills 5 • Schools with environmental education programs score higher on standardized tests in math, reading, writing and listening 1 • Exposure to natural environments improves childrens cognitive development by improving their awareness, reasoning, and observational skills 5 7
    8. 8. Benefits of Dirt • Can make you happier • Recent studies show that dirt contains microscopic bacteria called Mycobacterium vaccae which increases levels of serotonin in our brains, helping us relax, soothe and calm 4 • Can make you smarter • MV has also been shown to increase cognitive functions 4 • Can make you healthier • MV boosts your immune system and improves mood • Being too clean can impair the skins ability to heal itself 3 8
    9. 9. Benefits of Gardening • Play with dirt! • Get lots of vitamin D • When children garden they gain a sense of accomplishment • They are more willing to eat what they have grown, even if it’s a vegetable • When children garden they increase their self esteem • Learn about teamwork and cooperation • Connect with nature and their outdoor environment • Gain a sense of ownership • Use their large motor and get their “wiggles” out • Gardening can help children develop • Small motor skills and literacy • Math 9
    10. 10. Gardening through Literacy + Small Motor Skills• Make gardening journals where children can draw images of what they have grown and write down the names of what they’ve grown• Label items in the garden• Write stories about the garden• Give children clipboards, paper and colored pencils and sit Above: a picture of and draw things in the garden or trees the grown snow pea plant! 10
    11. 11. Gardening through Literacy + Small Motor Skills(continued)• Make a seed book out of Ziploc baggies where you can catalog the things you have planted and save some extra seeds• Cook something that they have grown in the garden and have the children dictate or write their own cookbook• Teach children how to read a seed packet 11
    12. 12. Gardening through Literacy + Small Motor Skills (continued)• By participating in these and other gardening activities the children are learning • How to use writing tools • How to write letters • How to write sentences • Use their small motor skills • Understand that print has multiple purposes “The snow peas are green” “The large ones are daddy snow peas” 12
    13. 13. Gardening through Math• Have children use rulers to measure things they have grown in the garden• Make a graph for children to document the growth of their fruits and vegetables• Count the number of seeds, plants, leaves, flowers and/or pods• Compare and contrast different seeds, their shapes, sizes and color• Measure the amount of water you are Above: A child learns how to use a giving the plants ruler to measure the length of a snow pea plant 13
    14. 14. Gardening through Math (continued)• Through such activities children learn: • Measurement scales • How to use measurement tools • One to one correspondence • Recognizing and learning numbers • Writing numbers • Learning to compare and contrast items • Learning about shapes, sizes and colors • Learning about graphing Above: a Child learns and recognizes numbers on a ruler 14
    15. 15. Gardening Sensory Activities• Through such activities children learn: Above: a Child learns and recognizes numbers on a ruler 15
    16. 16. Technology 16
    17. 17. Technology: A problem? “The average American boy or girl spends just 4-7 minutes in outdoor unstructured play each day, and more then 7 hours each day in front of an electronic screen” –National Wildlife Federation 1• Rising childhood obesity, attention disorders + asthma1• “Our kids are out of shape, tuned out and stressed out, because they’re missing something essential to their health and development: connection to the natural world” 1• Most hesitation of technology use in early childhood education has to do with fear about its contribution to early childhood obesity by: • Replacing outdoor play • Exposing children to junk food advertisements 17
    18. 18. Technology: What do we do? Fight technology? Force outdoor play? 18
    19. 19. Technology: NAEYC statement 8 • Technology and interactive media are here to stay • Technology and interactive media are tools that can promote effective learning and development when they are used intentionally by early childhood educators • Technology and media should not replace creative play, real-life exploration, physical activity, outdoor experiences, conversation and social interaction • Effective uses of technology and media are active, hands-on, engaging and empowering 19
    20. 20. Technology: NAEYC statement 8(continued) • When used appropriately, technology and media can enhance children’s cognitive and social abilities • Interactions with technology and media should be playful and support creativity • Technology tools can help educators make and strengthen home-school connections • Technology and media can enhance early childhood practice when integrated into the environment, curriculum and daily routines 20
    21. 21. Technology: NAEYC statement 8(continued) • For children with special needs, technology has proven to have many potential benefits • Tool to augment sensory input or reduce distractions • Support for cognitive processing or enhancing memory recall • Technologies can empower young children, increasing their independence and supporting their inclusion in classes with their peers • Technology can be effective for duel language learners by providing access to a families home language and culture while supporting English language learning • Digital literacy is essential to guiding early childhood educators and parents in the selection, use, integration, and evaluation of technology and interactive media 21
    22. 22. Technology: NAEYC Recommendations • Select, use, integrate and evaluate technology and interactive media tools in intentional an developmentally appropriate ways • Provide a balance of activities and programs for young children recognizing that technology and interactive media can be valuable tools when use intentionally with children to extend and support active, hands-on creative and authentic engagement with those around them an with their world 22
    23. 23. Technology + Nature Technology Technology allows you to… • Camera/photography • Document • Television • Share • Film • Play • Internet • Learn • Virtual worlds • Games • Social Networking Sites • Blogs • Information Sites • Phone 23
    24. 24. Technology: A solution!• FACT: Many young children use technology.• A report from Sesame Workshop claims that up to 80% of children under 5 use he Internet on at least a weekly bases in the United States. 7• Why?• Because we use technology, because technology is the future. It’s not going anywhere and rules and restriction aren’t going to prevent our children from being exposed to it• So why don’t we use technology to encourage outdoor play• Nature and technology don’t have to contradict one another• Technology can compliment and supplement the study of nature 24
    25. 25. Photography• Document • The stages of your child’s garden • Your outdoor adventures and Hikes• Share • Share your pictures with friends, family & other parents on social networking sites or blogs• Learn • Use your phone to take pictures of plants, animals and other elements of nature and Above: Lourdes uses a camera then use phone applications to learn about to document her class’s them gardening adventures 25
    26. 26. Television • PBS Kids • National Geographic Kids • Discovery Kids • Nick Jr. • CBeebies 26
    27. 27. Film 27
    28. 28. Internet: for kids • Learn • My first garden: • Kids Gardening: • Seeds of Change garden: • Biology 4 kids: • Play “Edutainment” • Bloomers Island: • Plan-a-Garden: • Community garden blog: 28
    29. 29. Internet: for kids• Bloomers Island• by Bloomers Edutainment LLC is a fun virtual world where kids can become one of the bloomers garden characters, make friends, play gardening games and build a decorate their very own tree house! 29
    30. 30. Internet: for kids• My First Garden•• By the Illinois Extension Office. Click on the Just For Kids link to go here: . Not only do they have fun games and tutorials, but a whole list of great links, like The Great Corn Adventure, and The Secret Life of Trees. 30
    31. 31. Internet: for kids• Plan-a-Garden• ing/• This cool website works great with kids. Once you register for the site, kids can take turns dragging and pasting different trees, bushes, and flowers onto any number of blank slates, and plan different unique gardens. This is an example of my garden. 31
    32. 32. Internet: for parents• Learn • Share • Websites • • • • • • Blogs • Play (with your kids) • Sage advice blog: • • Backyard activities • Growing Great Blog: • Kids Garden Crafts • Gardening with Kids • Net Mums • Coloring sheets 32
    33. 33. Internet: for parents 33
    34. 34. Internet: for parents 34
    35. 35. Internet: for parents • Net Mums • Print coloring sheets for your child that teach them about plants 35
    36. 36. Phone Applications: • Get outside and explore + learn together • iGarden USA • Gardening • NatureFind • Trailhead by The North Face • iBird Explore Backyard • Florafolio • Botany Buddy • MyNature Tracks • Leaf Snap • Eden Garden Design 36
    37. 37. Phone Applications: • Bloomers! Checkin • The Bloomers Checkin app encourages kids to go outside and explore nature. If a child checks into one of the outdoor locations recognized on this app, then the child receives 500 golden suns on! • It’s a great way to encourage kids to go out and get their hands dirty! 37
    38. 38. Phone Applications: • LeafSnap • LeafSnap is the first in a series of electronic field guides being developed by researchers from Colombia University. This free mobile app uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from photographs of their leaves 38
    39. 39. Phone Applications: • Eden Garden Designer • The Eden Garden Designer app combines fun and function. Gardeners can create virtual gardens using either a pre-loaded design or with an uploaded photo. Gardeners can experiment with their own gardens using the virtual garden function. The app also includes a searchable plant library. The plants can be added to a gardener’s virtual garden to create an outdoor masterpiece. This is a fun app for only 99 cents. It is compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. 39
    40. 40. Bloomers! 40
    41. 41. The Bloomers! VisionWe believe that when children are excited about nature,excitement grows to passion – and passion for how theworld is regarded and cared for is the single mostimportant ingredient for the healthiest planet and healthiestpeople possible.How do we get kids excited about nature? 41
    42. 42. CharactersThe Bloomers! characters are the heart of the experience –each representing an element of nature with a twist of human quirks. Bud, Pete Moss, Daisy, Violet, Basil, Big Red, Lilly, Rosey and Dogwood 42
    43. 43. GAME HOME SCHOOLBloomers! Island Bloomers! Backyard Bloomers! SchoolyardJOIN BRING THE LEARN WHATTHE GAME TO MAKES THEFUN LIFE BLOOMERS! FAMILY GROWHelp your personal Get hands-on andBloomers! garden hands-dirty with new Learning about plants,character through ways to help the flowers, gardens anddifferent island Bloomers! family and nature is fun! - and the keyadventures. friends grow. to the Bloomers! experience. 43
    44. 44. Bloomers! Island GAME GAMEBloomers! IslandMini-QuestsEarn Golden SunsShopCustomize CharactersSocializeExplore NatureLearn About NatureNarrated Stories Market Need About Bloomers! Bloomers! Experience Bloomers! Story Bringing Bloomers! To Life Bloomers! Team 44
    45. 45. Bloomers! Backyard HOMEBloomers! BackyardMini-ProjectsGPS Golden SunsToysGardening ToolsVideosBooks 45
    46. 46. Bloomers! Schoolyard SCHOOLBloomers! SchoolyardMini-CurriculumsAcademic Golden SunsHomework Made FunClassroom toolsVideosBooks 46
    47. 47. Ways Bloomers! uses technologyto get kids excited about nature • Engages kids with garden characters and gardening games • Hands-on gardening lessons for the schools are reinforces through online environments, games and ebooks • GPS locator drives kids outside through incentives •The online environments each contains one object needed to grow and plant or tree •Teachers and parents can buy cute real world patches like the ones the children can win online 47
    48. 48. Bloomers! : ideas for teachers•The online environment has a chat function where students can chatwith their teachers• Teachers can make plans to meet their class in an environment fordiscussions•In the very veggie garden, teachers can ask their students to identifydifferent vegetables: corn, tomatoes, pumpkin, lettuce, eggplant•Teachers can document what their class is growing and send it to and we’ll post it on our website 48
    49. 49. Find out more about Bloomers!!/BloomersIsland Contact: Don’t Forget to visit our Bloomers! Booth *Sign up for our newsletter to get a copy of this presentation 49
    50. 50. Reference Links: • 1: • 2: %20Sheets/NEEF_fact%20sheet.pdf • 3: allowed-to-play-in-the-dirt-new-research-suggests.html • 4: • 5: • 6: • 7: percent-of-children-under-5-use-internet-weekly/1#.T577RMRYsxE 50
    51. 51. This presentation was… • Presented by: • Cynthia Wylie • C.E.O and Creator of Bloomers! Edutainment • • Lourdes Padgett • Teacher & Education Outreach Director • • Created by: • Jamie Shields • Communications Manager • 51
    52. 52. Thank you! 52