What tools do we use?

After our #enviroed chat today, I’ve been thinking a lot about the different tools we use as teachers.  Finally, I finished my thesis, what a long time, but throughout the process we looked at different ways we can engage students in environmental education. Some of our chat today went over the same content, but at one point, we started talking about different tools to use. 
As a technology coach, I think a lot about the different digital tools we should use for different situations. Most of my questions start with why, or what is the end result.  When planning learning engagements, i want to know what the teacher is looking for, and then I try to apply the right digital tool to the situation.  As a tech coach, this makes a lot of sense to me.  In class we use iPads for different things than we use net books for.  We will use a camera for very specific tasks that we wouldn’t think of using a desktop for.  Each tool has a different function, and we use each or a combination of tools to finish a product. 
I hadn’t thought about using environmental tools, and I am still struggling to think of tools teachers always have handy, other than the outdoors.  The person who brought the idea up suggested a ratio of 2:1 natural tools over digital tools.  What does that look like in a school, and more importantly for me, can we combine the two.  Are we bringing our digital tools outside?  By using programs like project Noah we can link our biological learning to places all over the globe. Taking photos of our favourite places and then blogging about them to persuade others to interact with nature could be useful for learning about writing and our favourite places. 
It seems there is often a tension between digital and natural, it’s one I feel often in this position as tech coach.  I want to embrace technology without losing the natural world, but I don’t often bring my technology outside, and I rarely ask my students to do this.  
I’m still hoping to do a time lapse magic spot video by the end of the year.  I need to dedicate some time to this, to make it work, and share our learning with others.  Conservation photography seems like an interesting avenue to take with students. It could be a way to mix the natural and digital tools we use to create engaging learning experiences for our students.  

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