Friday, June 29, 2018

5 Ways to Blend Technology Into Outdoor Lessons

By the time that many of you read this, I'll be fly fishing on one of my favorite rivers in Maine. Where I'm going there isn't any cell phone reception. Even though there won't be reception, I will still have my phone with me to take pictures. Sometimes I take pictures of fish that I catch and other times I take pictures of insects that are hatching. I take pictures of the insects so that I can later look for fly patterns to either tie myself (I rarely have time for that these days) or buy to match what I've found on the water. This is just one way that technology can be helpful in learning about the outdoors. Here are some other ways that you might consider blending technology into outdoor lessons.

Augmented Reality scavenger hunts
Create your own or have your students use a tool like Metaverse to create augmented reality scavenger hunts. Think of it like making an educational version of Pokemon Go.

Geocaching can be a fun way for students to learn about latitude and longitude, to discover geological features, learn or relearn basic math concepts, and to practice good digital citizenship. Go to to get started.

Planning Through Digital Mapping
Use tools like Google's My Maps or the measuring tools in Google Earth to have students plan safe walking and biking routes.

Activity Tracking
The thing that jumps to mind here is using products like Fitbit or Strava to track how many steps you take or how far you've ridden a bike. But there's another option and that is the Google Science Journal app that kids can use to record observations about acceleration, noise, and outdoor lighting.

Recording Observations / Collecting Data
Sites like Project Noah were designed to encourage teachers to get their kids outside to record and share observations about that natural world around them.

Learn more about each of these ideas in my on-demand webinar, 5 Ways to Blend Technology Into Outdoor Lessons. It's one of the webinars included in the current Practical Ed Tech Summer Sales Pack.