anyone using technology to reduce "Nature Deficit Disorder"?

You've probably heard the talk about how children are losing touch with the nature around them. I read the book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Kids from Nature Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv. It provokes a lot of thought. Here's an article in Salon magazine that talks about the book and author:
http://dir.salon.com/story/mwt/feature/2005/06/02/Louv/index.html

I'm wondering what CR2.0 people are doing, or have seen done, to get kids actively in touch with nature while also using technology for discovery, presentation, and communication.

Any feedback on this?

Tags: nature, science, technology

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Lots of activity in the geocaching community. http://education.usgs.gov/common/lessons/geocaching.html
One of my teacher friends just started a personal project to test out a combination of technologies she wants to have her students use next year. She is combining nature photographs via Picasa, GPS and Google's My Maps, and a blog (not up yet) to create a guide to Minnesota state parks. It has just started, but you can check it out at http://maps.google.com/maps?um=1&tab=wl&hl=en&q=wanderi.... I'm not sure yet how she plans to use it with students, but it is a great combination of tools for "discovery, presentation, and communication."

I would also like to second Sylvia's geocaching comment.
I've seen a similar guide like this for Oregon parks. Not sure if students were creating it, but that's a great idea.
Lord of the Flies . A big island; verdant, full of foliage and pigs

A Language Arts classroom. A classroom set of digital cameras. Woods just beyond the varsity soccer field; verdant, full of foliage. No pigs.

Capture the beauty of nature in majestic 6.2 megapixels. Ask how the pictures relate to descriptive passages. Post those images on Voicethread. Record a dramatic reading. Record a defense for the preservation of natural spaces.
That's a great site, Skip, and so is Journey North, for study of wildlife migration:
http://www.learner.org/jnorth/
there must be more... Has anyone participated in JASON? http://pilot.jason.org/preview/home.aspx
Thanks Sylvia, TeacherK, Ken, and Skip. All great ideas! Hope the ideas keep coming. I'll be spending the summer outdoors with kids, and am ready to activate some new projects.
I used Jason a few years back but my wife uses it with her 5th-6th graders. Jason uses a local field study (typically a water study) to try to bring the science home to these students. Teachers can make as much or as little as they wish with the field study. The data can then be uploaded and shared. Jason can use very little technology or a fair amount of technology so it can adapt to a variety of classroom situations. The first time I used Jason, I was in the old style of one-to-one school, one computer to one classroom. We did fine. The power of Jason I believe lies in the integrated nature of the project. There are novels that tie in with whatever the current topic is, researchers come from a variety of fields to add different perspectives and angles to the story.
On that theme, here is a post about a family who found an expansive monarch migration roost sites in our area. There are maps, links and pics.

http://samccoy-n2teaching.blogspot.com/2007/10/momentous-monarch-migration.html
Thank you for this great example!!! Wow...well worth a close examination. Stunning! This afternoon, I'll show the kids in my class. I've emailed the link to monarch-studiers I know.
Thanks! My daughter's journalism teacher took the pictures. I would have included pictures of their kids, but I was concerned about privacy. I especially liked the picture of Richard traveling through the tree break with the dog and everything and everyone had butterflies swarming them. I wish I had been there.
I have been thinking about this topic lately and I am glad to see it posted. Honestly, some things I have read and heard lately through the blogosphere have worried me about this exact thing.
My students use a variety of Vernier sensors with data loggers or laptops to collect data for projects. They develop the projects over nearly a quarter of working outside. Although I have not participated in this, Project Globe would be the natural extension of this type of work; collect, upload and share your data with a global community.
I teach students grades 5-8 and I bring my little terrier to school. While it isn't a curricular lesson, the kids learn a lot by playing tag with Charlie. He plays keep away from them and also chases them. The more subdued kids are learning how to teach him tricks...which is a talent in and of itself. Even though he's a quick learner, if the child doesn't approach him with authority, love, and treats, he just walks away! hmmm...kind of like they do to a teacher!
An animal or two they can play with and care for outdoors on at least a weekly basis is a great way to begin to venture into the big green world!
We also take our laptops outside *gasp* to do work from time to time! It's kind of "beyond time" in it's Socratic feel, sitting around an old tree doing our classroom 2.0 stuff!
Ginger,
I completely agree with you about how good it can be to have an "animal or two they can play with and care for..." Have you heard of the Reading Education Assistance Dogs?
http://www.therapyanimals.org/read/index.php
I've been seeing a lot of articles about how children simply open up to reading, with a dog. Your kids are lucky to have your hound come visit!
It'd be so fun to see you outside with the laptops!

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