Wednesday 27 March 2013

Nature Deficit Disorder

Ten years ago when I began making Digital Learning Objects, now Apps, it was in a response to technology arriving in my New Entrant classroom. Digital learning was being hailed as the great new educator, some magical way of learning, that would completely change the way we teach and children learn. Everyone seemed to be getting a bit carried away.
In response to everyone getting carried away, and with Resn, an amazing Wellington IT company, we made The Bridge. With The Bridge I began to put the possibility out there, the possibility using technology, digital learning, to promote learning in the real world, the environment. To integrate technology with the way children have always educated themselves, through their senses and through their natural world.
What I was promoting then, and continue to promote now with my Pixelhouse resources is BALANCE. Pixelhouse DVDs and apps are not something that children click on and repeat the same experience over and over.  Our resources are teaching tools, prompts for teachers and children to explore and deepen their learning through drama, art, dancing and playing in the sandpit, engaging with their natural world.
Now I hear all this getting carried away with the technology has got a name, Nature Deficit Disorder. Which basically means growing and learning is not balanced. Children are so occupied with technology they don't have time for real experiences. Children need hands-on experiences, they need to use all of their senses and physical abilities to grow and learn.
Technology does offer new ways. It has got some fantastic possibilities, but don't let's get carried away...and use Pixelhouse resources, they promote balance.