Blaze Outside?

After a 3-day weekend I asked the 15 students in my coaching group how much time they spent outdoors.

The results

(Each row is a separate student. Number of minutes outdoors each day)

Saturday

Sunday

Monday

0

0

0

10

2

45

0

0

0

30

20

45

270

240

240

0

75

0

77

0

64

90

105

45

60

180

60

10

20

0

180

0

10

0

0

0

0

15

90

1

2

60

0

0

0

7 out of the 15 spent less than one hour in total outdoors over the three days. Removing one outlier (an avid footballer), the average time spent outdoors was thirty minutes.

Discussion

It was indeed a cold January weekend, but still, these figures shock me (perhaps a sign of my naivete). I had recently watched a talk from Ken Robinson (the only vaguely positive thing from the BETT conference on edtech, that was otherwise a huge warehouse of salespeople trying to sell ipad cases and wifi systems while completely missing any nuanced discussion about pedagogy). Ken spoke of his latest campaign, with Persil, to encourage children outdoors. Children in the UK are amongst the most housebound in the world.

When I asked the Nehwam children why this might be, they said:

  • It is dangerous outside
  • Their parents think it is dangerous outside (different to the first point!)
  • It is cold
  • Why would I go outside when I can do everything I want online
  • I have family to look after and chores to do
  • I have homework to do

I am so grateful for being given the opportunities and freedom to roam in the wild as a child, and would love to spread this.

A few ideas

I am thinking of how to build a culture of outdoor play with these students. We will play more games outdoors, and I have asked them to take photos of their adventures and send to me to win prizes. Apps such as Wild Explorers and 50 things (by National Trust) give ideas to children for how to get muddy and happy.

Untitled picture.png
Baby steps for my campaign?

Is there a deep link between screen-time and outdoor-time? The students have all downloaded Moment onto their iPads, an app that tracks how much time you spend on your tablet. Not perfect since does not take into consideration phone/laptop, and does not give breakdown of time (3 hours writing an essay is probably more fulfilling than 3 hours on social media?).

img_5043
My iPad-time
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