Nature Deficit Disorder

Product Details
Richard Louv’s Book
on http://www.amazon.com

Did you know that the typical American child spends 44.5 hours per week plugged into electronic media (not including homework and school)*?  getting kids outdoors

This seems like a lot of time. While I haven’t checked the survey, or how they have collected their data, I wonder about what it means to be “plugged in” or “connected”. 
I bought this book sometime ago, hoping to read it this summer holiday, so was wondering what it meant to be connected in a virtual age. When so much of our lives takes place virtually, where do we find room for the natural? 
To me it seems obvious that we are lacking something, a connection to our place. Can we really heal this through spending more time outdoors? As an elementary teacher, I think that one of the most important things we can do is try to build a community. By having learners working together with the best intentions for a more harmonious community, I find that we can develop skills to improve our ability to interact with others. Now I’m wondering if I’ve left out major parts of our world. If we forget to add other living things into our community, what relationships are we neglecting? How can we really connect to nature, if we’re connected to the virtual world? 
These past two years I’ve tried to instill some permaculture principles into our learning. The students have really caught on to the Fair Share, People Care, Earth Care language, and often bring their wonderings about these ideas up during our sharing time. 
Permaculture Principles
Can we use technology to plug in to, and enhance our community? Can we do this by using less energy, and being more efficient? Or does more focus on technology always mean more waste, and less for the future? 
The students in my class have been asking lots of great questions, and these questions have led to my own personal change of habits. I want both worlds for my students, where they can comfortably go between the natural and virtual world. Or are both worlds natural now? 
Please leave a comment if you have any other blogs, articles, people to see and learn from. 

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