Posts Tagged ‘balance between technology and being outdoors’

Will it come to this…watching Maine on YouTube?

November 21, 2011

PLAY AGAIN…what are the consequences of a childhood removed from nature?

An award-winning documentary film by Ground Productions.

“One generation from now most people in the U.S. will have spent more time in the virtual world than in nature.”

Several years ago, we hosted a group of New York City teenagers at our camp in the Maine woods. Not more than 15 minutes after the kids arrived, I realized that none of them were on, in, or anywhere near the lake on a gorgeous July day. Following a muffled bass beat to the back corner of one small bedroom, I found all 14 of them surrounding our only media in those days…a small boom box. That weekend, I learned a lot about city kids who had not spent much time in nature—kids tumbling out of kayaks into the water, others afraid to even get near the water, several girls staggering around in high heels (at camp!), and my all-time favorite…the young man who wanted to sleep outside but had never heard of dew. Dew!

But it isn’t just city kids who spend 90% of their time indoors—as this generation does. Yes, even Maine kids. There is serious concern about the lack of connection with nature and the outdoors from authors like Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder and many others. That is why the message in this film is so powerful, especially through the voices of these teens.

‘This documentary follows six teenagers who typically spend five to fifteen hours a day behind screens. PLAY AGAIN unplugs these teens and takes them on their first wilderness adventure—no electricity, no cell phone coverage, no virtual reality. Through the voices of children and leading experts including journalist Richard Louv, sociologist Juliet Schor, environmental writer Bill McKibben…and many other educators and scientists, PLAY AGAIN investigates the consequences of a childhood removed from nature and encourages action for a sustainable future.”

The good news is that due to a generous grant, free Study Guides, PLAY AGAIN DVDs and Educational Screening Licenses are available to public schools in Maine. (Did I mention they are FREE?) To obtain your free DVD and Study Guide follow this link.

Much more information about PLAY AGAIN is available on its Website.

One final comment is necessary. My endorsement of this resource in no way is a slam against technology. (I love my iPhone, my computer, and my iPad!) We need balance in all aspects of our lives and I believe that we need to teach our children explicitly about nature and the out-of-doors, just as we use and promote technology and media in every aspect of our lives.

Take advantage of this excellent resource…and let us know how you use it in your school community.

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