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Let me introduce to you our main speakers. So, we have three speakers and a bonus speaker. Start off with Imre van Kraalingen, who  is doing her PhD on the role and impact   of mobile technology and technological  mediation in higher education in Norway Imre is based in Oslo. Jack Reed's PhD is on the influences  of networked spaces on experiences of   residential outdoor education at  the Outward Bound Trust in the UK Jack is based in Edinburgh. And Dave Hills is based at the University  of Sunshine Coast in Australia.

His PhD is on optimising the management of  digital technology in outdoor education. I am super excited by having  these three PhD students here, precisely, not only because they  are lovely people and smart people, and have a lot to offer. But I always think that it is the PhD students out  there who are most on top of the literature. They are the ones most immersed in  it, day after day, week after week,   year after year. Hopefully not too many years.

So, it's wonderful to be able to bring up  this really current knowledge of the field. We've also asked Brendon Munge from   Australia to join us as what  I would call an 'offsider'. So he's going to join us in the plenary. Brendon  has a lot of experience with working with   outdoor technology at the  tertiary level especially.

We have asked him a long to challenge some  of the points being made by the presenters and maybe act as a sort of... we want  him along with some of you others, to feel like you can be critical. You don't have   to believe everything that  is being presented to you. and we want to be asking the difficult questions of sure, but how would that work  in the real-world practice? Brendon will take on an additional role there. Right, just a couple of more bits of  introduction and then we will be off to the races. Our working definition today  for digital technologies is: 'electronic tools, systems and devices that can  record, store, process and present information.'

Electronic tools, systems and devices that can  record, store, process and present information. We mean this to include all  parts of the experience:   before, going into the field,  during and after the experience. It could be on expeditions,   residential experiences, local learning  outside the classroom, and so on... I'll also say that there has always  been technology in outdoor education. And, Bob Henderson, years ago, said to me:   'Oh, there always has been  technology in outdoor education, just look at the canoe. Its design was so good  that it hasn't changed in a thousand years.' With the advent of digital technology,   however, and the rapid rise and  ubiquity of digital technology in our outdoor education practices, seemed  to have raised all kinds of questions, dillema's, conflicts, and  so on, that occur here at   the intersection between mobile technology  use and working with people outdoors.

And it is the believe of the people who are  presenting today and the organising group   of this webinar, that there is a disproportionately low amount  of rigorous research that has been done   on these kinds of practices. So that is the rational for this  webinar, that's why we're here. We are here to   generate some discussion around this intersection  of outdoor learning and digital technology. We want to hear from you as well. I think I've said all that I should. It's eleven  minutes past the hour, and let's get started.

Any burning questions before we  continue? I can't see everybody's hands, but maybe put it in the  chat if you think: 'hang on,   I have a burning question, you can't begin yet.' Right, you've had your opportunity  to ask a burning question. Okay! Let's kick this off! So jazzed that you're all here.  We've got 68 people joining us live. This is our first statement that the  three panellists are going to respond to. The use of digital technology in outdoor education  is fundamentally contrary to all its key value.

Hmm... Okay. Jack, you're on! Alright. Thank you very much, Simon. Good  morning, good afternoon, good evening everybody. Nice to see lots of familiar names and  also some new names. Hi from Edinburgh! I should probably get started here, by asking:   what are the key values in  British outdoor education? That's the context I'm in here.

I don't intend to spend too much time on this, but   the values which underpin British outdoor  and specifically adventurous education can at least be traced back  to the romantic period. But I think can also be traced back  to the post Second World War area. And concentrates on adventure as a kind of medium  for personal development and also personal growth. This is something that a colleague  and I recently discussed in a small   scale paper on fear in outdoor learning.  But I think there's also value placed on   accessing natural places which disconnect us  from what are faced-paced, and I think also   technological lives. And we see this emphasized  in writings such as Brian Wattchow's for instance   ‘pedagogy of production’ and Payne and Wattchow's  ‘slow pedagogy for post-traditional outdoor education’.

So, I think these five minutes are going to  focus on this disconnection, and in some ways   kind of focus on experiential purity. Yeah,  I think in the next sort of 5 minutes or so. When thinking about the kind of removal  of phones and subsequently social media in   in formal outdoor education at least,  I think we could run into a problem   when we think about just how connected  young people are in contemporary society. So, we know that young people, or at least  the kind of generation Zs and generation Alphas   of global North societies, so that's those born  from late the 1990s through to the present day or so, know nothing different than a world  that is both technologically sustained   and critically also technologically reliant.  I think, whether it be Snapchat and TikTok or   text messaging or WhatsApp, the young people who  take part in outdoor education, are kind of part   of a networked environment which facilitates  and sustains aspects of young people's lives, particularly aspects such as community,  friendship and also, critically, identity.

And of course we also see  relationship and community development   as core program outcomes in outdoor education.  So, it's the position of networked spaces   that they naturally become an  integral part of learning outdoors. So, whilst young people might not  necessarily be on their phones   during formal activities, such as caving or maybe  rock climbing, they will undoubtedly be parts of   these networked back channels - before and  after these formal learning experiences.

And I think crucially here, network spaces   also offer opportunity for outdoor learning  to continue long after the initial experience. So things such as sharing images, new  friends, maybe even social media posts   themselves can kind of provide a living  archive which will be revisited by young   people for years to come after their initial  experience. This kind of creates a new arena I   think in outdoor education for young people  to make sense of these forms of experience.

So me being onto my third and final point  from a networked and connectivity perspective,   which, of course, naturally includes mobile  technology and social media, I, personally, I'm   unconvinced that these forms of mobile technology  are fundamentally contrary for outdoor education, and I believe that leveraging these spaces  can potentially at least further the impact   of meaningful and long-lived outcomes  when taking learning beyond the classroom. So, in light of that, I think I would  like to at least conclude with my own   positionality statement, and that is  that network spaces and connectivity   play a critical role in and  beyond outdoor education. So, as practitioners, we of course  have a choice about whether we include   technology in practice or not,  but it's absolutely important   that we recognize that all of  our participants will arrive,   take part, and leave these outdoor learning  contexts as part of numerous online networks, which of course facilitates  interpersonal connection,   friendship, and critically, I think memories. So, with that in mind, I'd like to pass back  to Simon, who I think will pass on to Imre.   Thank you very much. Thanks, Jack. Right on time. Let's see.  

There we go over to Imre. Thank you, and thank you  Jack for kicking this off. As you can see on the slide, I'll be giving a  perspective from the Norwegian context and I   also would like to start with sharing some  of the key values from the Norwegian context, as internationally there is no  clear statement of what exactly   the key values are in outdoor education. So, similar to the context of the UK,  outdoor education in Norway has its roots   in a tradition, the Norwegian tradition of outdoor  life, which is called ‘friluftsliv’ in Norwegian, and this also dates back to the romantic  period and the back-to-nature movement   where the friluftsliv tradition  aimed to offer a break from the   distresses from everyday urban life and to  help reconnect the urban population to nature. So, these ideals continued to develop  from exploring kind of what at that time   was still considered ‘wild nature’ or ‘free  nature’ and also relying on one's own personal   skills to manage oneself in the outdoors  with limited equipment and simple means. And until today, the traditional friluftsliv  is still intertwined with also this idea that   spending time out in nature is good for  people's overall wellbeing. So physical,  

mental and emotional wellbeing, and  that holds a very strong position   in Norway's public policy, but  also in the educational policy. So, for a long time, outdoor education in Norway  has kind of reflected these original values of   skill development and also personal development  and the direct experience of nature. And I added   an extra key value here that I think is  important, which is the environmental awareness, which, as I understand it,  developed a little bit later on,   when the Norwegian eco-philosophical  traditions emerged that argued that   experience of nature helps us develop a connection  to nature and raise environmental awareness. So, these are the key values in   the Norwegian tradition of outdoor  life and outdoor education in Norway. However, if we look at the practice today, we see  more and more use of advanced equipment, and people   recording and sharing their outdoor pursuits  with various digital and mobile technologies.

And, increasingly, we see also that these  technologies are used in the planning and the   enactment of outdoor education curricula. So, as I understand it, these key  values, when we look at them from a   perspective of using digital technologies,  it really depends on our approach whether   we say that these technologies either hinder or  can support the key values of outdoor education. For example, if we look at the first  two, the skill development and social   and personal development, one can say  that from the traditional approach,   managing oneself in the outdoors with  simple means and limited equipment,   the use of digital technologies would not fit in  in that picture of developing the basic skills.  However, if we look from a pedagogical approach,  there's a clear example of using, for example,   ‘how to’ videos that are very popular nowadays  that can help and support independent learning. For example, when students or  participants are preparing for a trip. And the same with social and personal development,  we can look at the use of video or photographic   journals, in terms of reflecting on an experience  and having a creative tool to process a learning   experience, which is kind of the modern  or digital approach to a field diary.

However, when we look at the third point, I  think this is perhaps the most challenging value. The development of a connection to nature  and the direct experience of nature. Because when we use digital  technologies in the outdoors,   we have a relation that shifts from a human-nature  connection to a human-technology-nature interface,   where technology becomes a  mediator of human experience. And we can for example think about  how we read online maps or GPS,   rather than learning to read  the features of the landscape   by using a map and by learning to  recognize certain aspects of the landscape. So, I too would like to share my personal   statement, which is that I think that  it's unrealistic to state that we can   or must avoid using digital technology  in outdoor educational practices, but I think instead we should focus on learning  about and gaining a deeper understanding of   the impact of digital means, how we  can use their potential and how we can   mitigate the disadvantages, and that we should  continuously reflect on this, rather than   avoiding to talk about it or denying that digital  technologies in any way influence the field. And we need to learn about it and understand  it, so that we can make better informed   decisions about when, where, how to  use it, or not use it for that matter.

I think that was it for now, so I'll hand the word  to Simon, and I think he will pass it on to Dave. Thanks, Imre. Over to you, Dave Hills. Thanks, Simon. Thanks for everyone for coming. It’s great to see you, a great representation  of countries in the chat. It is fantastic to  

be here and I really enjoyed working  with Jack and Imre for the past few   months, and thanks very much for hosting, Simon. At this stage, I just want to  recognize the contribution of my   supervisor, Glyn Thomas as well in my work. I know he's also in the feed and he's  currently camped out in the field,   so it's a good effort that he could dial in. So, my response to this question. ‘The use of digital technology is  fundamentally contrary to its values’. The way my research would contribute to this,   and I've been doing my PhD now for  the last four, four and a half years, and I've just finished writing up my data. I  surveyed over 150 outdoor educators from over   20 countries, and completed in-depth interviews  with over 30 participants in over 8 countries.

And, my research is suggesting three things that  really would possibly mediate how an outdoor   educator would respond to that statement, or  what mediates responses to that statement. I represented them on my slide, they’re  the pedagogical considerations, the   five points on the left, the  application of outdoor education. And really I found that its people's  response to the statement below,   which tends to invoke people's response to  that statement and their opinion on technology. So, I found that the optimal management  of technology in outdoor education,   whether that's including it or excluding  it, is really critically considering and   responding effectively to those  five pedagogical considerations. So, thinking about the facilitators,  the students, and the learning outcomes,   whether they're formalized or not,  whether they’re agreed or not, but really making that  management of technology bespoke   to those three top things I found, or  my research has suggested, is really key. Those two key things at the  bottom and the application of   outdoor education and the organizational  values, to link into Jack and Imre's slides, in Australia, outdoor education in Australia  articulates three applications of outdoor   education on the website: a standard in subject  approach or camp and a teaching methodology.

And my research has shown that really that  tends to vary the management of technology. If you're applying outdoor education  in the context of like any other subject,   then often technology has been just as relevant,   whereas if you were perhaps applying  outdoor education in its purest form as   a methodology or pedagogy, then my research  has shown that at times it's less relevant. The other thing I found in collecting  my data, is that each organization has   their own values and every educator has  their own values of what our education is.

And sometimes it's that conflict of values which  just causes that conflict between the inclusion   and exclusion of technology. So, I found it fairly effective   to simply ask people the question  at the bottom, that to what extent   is your application of outdoor education, in  your session, a break from the norm of education? For some outdoor educators that I've spoken to,   it's not, it's another field of education  that's led into the rest of the curriculum,   and technology is normal, and  it's laid in like everything else. For others, their delivery education  has something different. You know,   a complete break from the norm, a disconnection,  and for them that statement is correct, the use of   technology in outdoor education is  fundamentally contrary to its values.

So, I think that I'd like to point  out that I'm not advocating for or   against technology in outdoor education.  I think I'm just advocating frameworks for   outdoor educators to make evidence-based,  critical decisions about how it's managed, and if you would like to  read a bit more about that,   me and Glyn published a framework  upon this work about a year ago,   and I'll put the link in the chat if people  would like to read more about this construct. Thanks, Simon. Thank you, Dave, and thanks all three of  you for getting us off to a great start.

There are a couple of comments /  questions in the chat already, from Glyn and Jim.  And I’m hoping that also Brendon  might have something up his sleeve. Right, why don't you kick things off Brendon? By the way, we don't know where this is going.  We don't know what Brendon's got in store for us. No really, really. I think, fantastic  so far, and I'm really just,   I'm looking at the group of people that we've  got here and I think there's so much to offer, and picking up on some of those threads there,   I guess I'm interested in that filtered  and unfiltered aspect of technology. What does that technology that we bring into   what is often an unfiltered experience in  the outdoors, so sort of ready for a new   challenge and a new environment, and then we bring  a filtering impact of technology into that space, and that changes the view or the engagement  and those sort of things from that.  

And then also the preconceptions that we have  by making a choice to bring in, intentionally or unintentionally, that technology, and the implications  for someone that is set, or prepared to,   engage in the outdoors and the environment,  and the weather, and all those things. And yet, all of a sudden we bring in a filtering  aspect of technology that is existed elsewhere.  That notion that Jack brought up around the  around the networking also creates possibly   some dilemmas about those that are inside  and those that are outside those networks, and whether outdoor education, and  Glyn has made some comments there about   the notion of challenging some of the  global truths about outdoor education, whether by bringing in technology without  the critical thought pattern of it,   that we do create another set of  standards where there's some that   are inside the basket and some  that are outside the basket.

Well, I think there's so much there to  talk about, but I'll let some others,   and maybe from directed to respond  to that from the chat as well. I am muted. One, just picking up on some of  the comments in the thread seem to be that,   like from TA, Pat, Glyn, and Jim, that at what  point does technology stop and nature start? Do we need to drop this, get rid of  this binary that kind of has these two,   compatible or incompatible or, we don't know how  compatible technology and education outdoors is. There just seems to be this huge amount of space  that is really tricky terrain, and I know that   some of this will be discussed directly in the  second presentations by Jack, David and Imre. Would one of our three panellists like to   talk a little bit about how we work with  this binary or this perceived binary? I can briefly comment on that. I think,  since I started on this on this project,  

and I especially when I  started reading more upon it, one of the things that stood out to me is that   whatever was written was either quite  pro-technology or quite anti-technology,   and it became immediately clear to me that  there were very different positions on this, and it made me think about   when we structure any type of educational  activity and when we draft a curriculum, or the simplest thing like a reading list,  when we have a book we consider: how does   this book serve the pedagogical objective of this  lecture, or of this class, or of this activity? And I think, when it comes to technology, we don't  think of it that simply. We don't simply ask the   question, can this serve this particular activity  or can this serve this particular assignment? And I think that's a much more neutral way to deal  with it rather than thinking of outdoor education,  kind of vaguely, these broad key values that are  also very different across contexts and across   nations, across institutes, across individuals,   and outdoor education is  now in a different context. We are today in a world where even outside the  classroom, like outdoor education particularly   the field is influence in other ways. The participants are influenced. We are   influenced as educators. And I think these  are all things we have to learn to accept and that is why I said that digital  technology shouldn't just be simply   labelled as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ because  there's this in-between space and, in order to make these decisions of  can this book or can this digital tool   serve the pedagogical incentive of this activity,  we need to be informed and learn more about it.

What is the impact? What role can it play?   What benefits are there? What pitfalls are there?  And then we can make that informed decision. Thanks, Imre. There's some comments  coming up that certainly resonate with me   in terms of when or when not  to bring in the technology. And in terms of surely we  need to privilege or hold up the   educational aims of the program as the  most important starting point for that.

And it made me think of Robbie Nicol, years ago,   when he, I think he wrote something with, well  he's written lots of things with Pete Higgins, but there's one thing that he wrote with Pete,   and he asked challenged educators to be able to  explain to their audiences: ‘why are you teaching   this subject matter, this topic in this place  with these people, right at this moment? And I wonder, if to that we  need to also add: and with this   particular piece of equipment, or this technology. We need to be able to justify that  in relation to our educational aims. So yeah, and Pat talks about being a tech  fluid, so we need to be just really careful   and deliberate about the  time and the place and so on. I cut somebody off. Sorry Simon, can I just pick up  on a question from Ian, Simon? Yeah, go for it.

Yeah. So, a great question in the chat  from Ian Neville. Just asking and about,   surely it just comes down to the objectives  and learning outcomes of the program, and   perhaps flexibility is the key. It's a really great question, Ian. And that's   one of the questions that I really  probed with my interview participants. And what I found was that a large proportion of  our sector which who perhaps don't have formalized   and agreed learning outcomes for good reason, you  know, so they can have the flexibility to respond   to the environment, their signature pedagogy,  and the conditions and the group, in fact.  And what I found is that a lot of  arguments amongst practitioners are,   they just have a different idea of what  they're trying to achieve that day, you know.  

For some it is about disconnection, for some it  isn't. And what I've found successful is just   sitting down with teams of educators from centers  and really just unpacking what the formalized and   unformalized and agreed and non a-reed parts  are, and communicating that to students. But you're absolutely right in your question,  flexibility is the key, and I've spoken to   practitioners who start off using no technology  at all, and then effectively lower into the   session and it serves as a pedagogical hook  for some students and vice versa as well. So, it's a great point. Thanks. So here I think we're in danger of being  able to almost end the conversation   with, ‘well, it depends.’

End of webinar. So what do we do with this? How do we   get to a point where we're able to  make judgments regarding it depends. That's a question to… and   I know Dave, you in particular have  done some work on this step by step. Yeah, so the the link I just shared in the chat   does exactly that. I tried to give a framework  for people to answer that question ‘it depends’. And what does it depend upon? Well, it depends  upon our five key pedagogical considerations,   and we're working towards a series of  questions or prompts which you can answer,   and at the end of those prompts, it will  tell you about the optimal management, so we're hoping to publish a  final version of that next year. ‘cause otherwise, you actually can come back to  that statement of it depends on it at every stage, so we're hoping that as that framework is  refined and published and tested next year,   it helps to answer that, because we know  that that it-depends question is the strength  of our sector, because it's all about  flexibility in responding to changing   conditions, changing groups, changing plans in  the dynamic environment that we will teach in.

Certainly, something that I've  been working on a little bit is kind   of asking three questions that are  kind of stolen from risk management. Kind of basic risk management strategies, and the three questions for me are, as  I kind of wade through all of this, are:  What are the affordances of the  mobile technological device? What are the pitfalls of using this device? And then, to what degree do the affordances  outweigh the pitfalls? So, do we still want to   go ahead with using this? Wow, there are just so many… I'm almost  overwhelmed. There's so many excellent,   excellent comments, that I feel like… If you're not in the chat, I really  encourage you to read the chat, because   we may not be able to directly respond to  everything that's in there, but I really encourage everyone to see  what's being written there. There was a question, I'm just kind of  scrolling, there's a question from Sarah Burton. I wonder if this might go to with you Imre.  

Imre’s paper, which will be out in  a few days, I would have thought, Imre did a systematized review of all of the  literature out there, which is just so helpful   for us, I think, in terms of getting an  idea of the literature, the landscape,   what's been published in the peer-reviewed world, and there's a question from Sarah Burton  about the anti-digital tech papers, were the anti-digital tech  papers aware of the tech,   of all materials used to enable them to be there?  And so, this idea of being more conscious of this   technology has helped break the  nature-tech divide, I think. Can you maybe comment a little bit on   what you saw, 'cause you said there didn't  seem to be much in between these papers. No, well, first and foremost  the systematized review I did,   the articles I selected for the review were  articles that did use digital technology,   or mobile technology specifically,  in outdoor learning programs.

But, of course, I've come across,  especially more theoretica, articles on   not using digital technology or mobile  technology in the outdoors. And, I mean   the most prevalent argument is that it mediates  and impacts our direct experience of nature. And I'm not sure, I mean, I can't   judge to what extent people are aware  of the extent to which it's used.

I think I also don't want to give away too much  of what is to come in the second discussion, but   one of the things that's important to keep in   mind is: which phase of outdoor  education are we talking about? Outdoor education is not just being on the trip,  like outdoor education is the complete package:   preparing for the trip, going on the  trip, like getting to the location,   being on the location, being in the outdoors,   and then post-trip reflection or  evaluation, or whatever comes afterwards. And, as I've spoken off the record, so not part  of the of the field work yet, to some people, there's quite some people that say, like, 'oh,   you know I've used this or this.’  Or, ‘I use this in this way’, but there's also people that say  1I or we don't use any technology’.

And I think honestly that that there's  people out there that are not yet aware   of the different ways of how unconscious  just the simple use of a mobile phone is. How automatically it already goes and how  much it's already a part of our habits. That when we're on the trip and  we check the weather forecast,   or we just communicate with one of  the students that has gotten lost, that all of that is already part of  the outdoor education experience. Thanks, Imre.

Greg, just wondering about… well if  we all, if we have to be… I'm sort of   paraphrasing your question, if I may, if educators need to be in a position  where they are constantly weighing up   affordances and pitfalls of using tech, and  I mean arguably, educators are doing this   as weighing up affordances and pitfalls during  all aspects of their work, all the time. So, what, from a practitioner sense, and  maybe Brendon you could jump in here,   what are the problems with this? In practice we say, OK, that's great.  Yeah, well it depends on what our   learning outcomes are and we just want to cater  this to our students, and the landscape and so on… Where does that fall down in practice? Well, I guess from my experience  working with university students,   it's some of those preconceptions of what I  expect them to be learning or taking from this, I get imbued with this idea, that yeah it’s  great I've got this new piece of technology,   and now I’ve got to learn   these things… Jakob got something to say as well… I think it's about not having those  earlier discussions with yourself about   what's going to be its role and you’re  becoming imbued with the benefits of it, and you forget something, and don't  see the blind siding of the taking   away from an experience that might have existed  without that piece of technology being there.

And some students I found coming  away with a sense of, well,   I missed something here because we got caught  up in this news of technology or an app, and I've had those things elsewhere, I was  coming here for a different experience. From other experiences it's also  been this amazing propagation,   you know, university students don't  always do all of their work prior,   but all of a sudden I've got this resource here  that I can enable them to go: you know what right   in this moment, just in time learning enables us  to actually upskill ourselves right here and now, and that's been a really benefit,  specially on longer expeditions, you know,   we can. We can leverage that. We're no longer carrying around 20 field  guides. We've now got it all in one place  

and they can, you know, leverage  to learn and extend their learning, but I think it comes back to that filter  in a non-filtering, for me sometimes not   being sure of the filter that it applies  to what that experience is going to be. But yeah, there's lots of other,  Bob and others, probably got lots of   ideas, and Jakob had an idea  there that he was about to share. There's a point, I think we'll just respond  to one more point. And then we'll keep going,  

'cause I suspect that some of these comments  and questions will be addressed in round two. And that is what Ulrich said 'hey well,  what's the difference between using   kind of an older school equipment  mapping compass versus the smartphone?’ I mean, that kind of gets back to my original  point about Bob's thousand year old canoe. So, surely, maybe we're not as far away   from each other as we think. Maybe this  whole idea, maybe this is really just   a continuing debate about the right equipment  to be matched with the right educational tool.

Does anyone on the panel wanted to  jump in, to just comment on my comment? Yeah, I can jump in on that.  Imre do you wanna go? OK yeah. No, I think that this is a really  interesting point, isn't it?   But I think what already we are discussing  here is that if I've got a map and compass   in my hand that map and  compass serves one purpose. However, if I've got my mobile phone in  my hand, all of a sudden I have access to   a whole lots of different apps, tools,  Facebook, Instagram, so on and so forth.

And so this little device. I think kind of offers   this kind of level of connection  that hasn't been possible before. Now, I'm not saying that that's a good  or bad thing, however, what it does mean,   I think at least, and this might be a little bit  provocative, is that this little device has kind   of collapsed the binary around whether we are  using technology or whether we are in nature. To me I think this binary doesn't necessarily  exist anymore, especially when we think about   the young people that are coming along to our  residential outdoor education here in the UK,   especially post COVID, I'll discuss  this a little bit in my next 5 minutes, is that young people have never been so connected.  And so, this binary, this kind of for or against   argument, or as Cuthbertson et al. in 2004  said that kind of ‘double-edged sword’,   I'm unconvinced that that  argument stands up anymore.

And like I say that's reasonably well purposely  provocative, but I do think that this little   device here absolutely changes  kind of the nature of experience. Whether that be a, like I say, a map or compass  or a phone. I think that this really is a   significant kind of game changer.

So yeah, I'm not sure if that’s a  response, but anyway, there we are. If I may briefly complement to that. Jack,   I'm happy you were saying largely  what I was going to say as well, but added to this whole distraction  aspect of how easy it is to   open an application and be like, ‘oh,  I got a message, oh I’ll answers this,   oh, an email’ and then you kind  of the cycle keeps on going. I think another aspect is how, especially  through social media, our adventure pursuits   become a part of this digital narrative, and a  digital identity, for which it is used as well. And that's perhaps a conversation that's  slightly outside the educational setting,   but it is an important aspect that I think   especially in mobile phones and their  applications bring to outdoor experiences. Thanks everybody. Alright, can  I just say I'm loving this?  

It's just wonderful. I'm loving all the input  from the presenters, and this chat is so rich. Heidi bringing up there the  whole notion around access, like we're making assumptions here that  everybody has access to the mobile technology. Sorry, at the end, so, do people have  access to the equipment? Do they have   4G? Can they afford, I guess what I'm  saying, to have this equipment? Good.

Sorry, Simon, can I just  pick up on the access point? So, I spoke to, there is in  America an education group is   using a new technology for people with  disabilities to access the environment, and it’s amazing what they're achieving.  They're using excess skeletons for people   that otherwise can't walk very far,  can now walk into remote environments   and access the outdoors like never before. And it's just… but from their  perspective that technology has   been a game changer with what they can operate. Fantastic, OK, we’ll keep the chat  going on the side, and let's see. It's time for, take a deep breath, We're going to move on to part two.

So now we're going to hear from our  three presenters again, 5 minutes each,   and then we'll have discussion time afterwards. Right. Oh, that was that was the slide  I should have used for plenary one. Well, have a good look at it. It's a  picture of Dave with some stuff outdoors. So, now this is the discussion for part two  here. So, if we can accept, so that is an if,

if we can accept that digital technology  is embedded in outdoor education,   what do we know about its potential and  what are key areas to explore more deeply? And I think that's just to kind of bring people  back to the rationale behind this webinar,   is we're suggesting that there's, I mean,  just as we're seeing in the chat here, there's a huge amount of experience, critical thinking and so on, in the world of  outdoor education and using digital technology. But there is still a pretty limited, that  literature is limited in terms of what's   been done empirically, and has  been published in reliable outlets. So, let's kick things off. Part two.

Dave. Fantastic, thanks Simon. And a great  comment there from Greg in the chat,   it's just led nicely into my slide. He was  asking about when we’re going to talk about VR   and AR, and that's exactly what  I'm going to talk about now. I'm also going to pick up on affordance theory  that we've been speaking about, and again,   highlight some of the literature which is  coming out, to read a bit more about this topic. So, basically I haven't come across it, affordance  theory or technological affordance theory that   we've been mentioning, there’s some fantastic  research coming out which articulates this   balance or imbalance with technology in society.

Basically, affordance theory  is all about the bands between   technological determinism on the one hand,  and social constructivism on the other, and we see this throughout the discussion  that we've had today. We see it politically,   we see it socially and it's only going to  play out more, I think, in the coming years. So, my research has identified five affordances  of technology in the outdoor education,   all of which have an equal and opposing  side to including and excluding tech, and they are: safety, learning and engagement,   place, environmental connection,  and teamwork and collaboration. And from what I've seen from interviewing  30 people and 150 survey responses from   those twelve different  countries is that every time you   include or exclude technology, you always gain  something, but then you always lose it as well. So, in some ways technology we know makes our   operations safer, but they also  make them less safe as well.

We know that they engage people and turn the task,  but they also distract them at the same time. So, affordance theory really prompts us to look  critically at both sides of the affordance in   making that decision, and trying to think, ‘OK,  if I remove everybody's phones, remove everyone’s   iPads, or if I give them a digital device, what  am I going to gain and what am I going to lose?’ So, what I found in my data is regardless of your  position on technology and outdoor education,   you're always going to gain something and you lose   something. And that's quite a  nice balanced way to look at it. To answer the second part of  the question on the slide,   where to next and what do we  need to explore more deeply? As Greg mentioned, we can't have this  discussion without talking about Apple Glass.   We know Apple are really good at disrupting  sectors, and I believe that it's coming next   year and actually going to disrupt a lot  of our world for the better and the worse. Apple glass, the augmented reality  version of what they're bringing out,   is tipped to replace computers and phones. Screen  companies are going out of business with these  

revelations, and they think that's  all you'll need in the outdoors, which clearly has a huge issue for our sector  in terms of disconnecting people, or in terms of   getting people to unplug and  unfiltered experience to nature. But looking at it from an affordance theory  standpoint, it might create a greater need to   disconnect and take off those  glasses and engage in the outdoors. And outdoor education might become one of those   one true places where you can completely  switch off and take that filter off, but I think as a as a profession we really need  to be proactive, and not reactive to Apple’. next  

big disruption. Use it to our advantage,  take all the opportunities it gives us and   manage it effectively before students start  turning up on our sessions with these devices. So, I'm hoping to address a lot of these things  in the future, and really continue this work. I wanted to highlight a book chapter  that I've got coming out next year.  

I'll put the link in the thread. It's a chapter  in Glynn, Janet and Heather's book, and hopefully,   if you want to read more about affordance  theory and these topics, please check it out. Thanks, Simon. Thank you, Dave. OK. Over to you Imre. Thank you. Well, some of the points that I want to  discuss have already briefly come up, which I hope I can just  elaborate a little bit more on,   and I’ll also build a little bit  more on Dave’s affordance theory.

So, my focus, as mentioned earlier,  is on mobile technology specifically,   and I think this topic has become especially  interesting and even more relevant than it   was before, during the pandemic where digital  mobile technologies have facilitated the concept   of learning anytime, anywhere,  perhaps more than ever before. And so, when we look at the potential  of mobile technology, I think there's   two obvious main characteristics  which are mobility and portability. Together they refer, of course to that users can  communicate at anytime, anywhere and with anyone,   and the fact that they're wireless make it  able for us to bring them along wherever we go   and connect to any network, which of course  depending on the context or on the place, I know that in Norway the 4G and 5G is expanding  to almost anywhere, even further in the mountains. So, this mobility and portability have some   obvious benefits for facilitating  learning out-of-doors, so Dave already introduced the  affordances, but some of the benefits are: the access to information, so I think what we  use very often is checking the weather info,   checking information about the local  environment, planning transportation,  perhaps on winter trips, checking avalanche   warnings or having specific  applications for avalanches. Of course, we can communicate  with our colleagues or   students or participants, or in case of emergency, and it enables us to document  and share information,   and these are only some of the benefits. But of course there's also pitfalls  that we should consider in terms of,   what already has been mentioned, issues of equity  in terms of availability, costs, and access   to the devices and also of  course access to networks, also the use of mobile digital technologies in  terms of how they can distract from a specific   learning activity, and that they may  hinder direct experience of nature, but also that they can increase risk in  terms of providing a technology-driven   sense of false safety, where participants or  students may go into areas for which they don't   have the actual skills to roam those areas, and  if something happens, or if the technology fails,   they are left on their own and  have to rely on their own skills.

So, these are important considerations. Based on the systematized review  I did, which hopefully will be,   it is accepted, it will be hopefully  online available very soon, but I frame these affordances under three  considerations for employing mobile technology,   which are listed here on  the on the PowerPoint slide. And I think regardless of all the  potential of digital technology,   it's very important that we don't use  digital mobile technologies uncritically,   because they may indeed hinder the teaching  and learning objectives, so we should minimize   usage and critically reflect on if we need  to use them and why we need to use them.

So, that relates to the second  point, the intentionality,   so that we set very clear pedagogical  intentions, not just for ourselves,   but also reflect on how do we convey these  intentions to the participants, or to students. How do we convey these messages of why do we use  this device? Or why do we use this application   exactly in this moment? What are the risks  that are involved and what are the benefits? And then the adaptation, based on  the suggestions that I've read,   some of the most important  points are to use interactive,   informative and creative tasks that are  also based on teamwork collaboration, but that definitely don't make the device  or the application to focus points, So, that the destructive kind of  effect is mitigated in that way. And I think through all of that,  continuously reflecting is very important, that any use, but also any non-use of digital  technology requires critical examination.

And as I already mentioned in one of  the comments in the discussion around   that we have to consider the different  stages. So, the planning, the enactment or   during an activity, and the post-activity  or reflection and evaluation phases. And that is something I also hope,  throughout my research, to learn more about. And then finally, I think, one thing that  maybe hasn't been mentioned yet is that some people that may be hesitant, or maybe  feel very strongly against using technology,   I think it is so important that when we adopt  digital or mobile technologies in one aspect or   one activity, it doesn't mean that it takes place  in every aspect of our teaching or our practice, so we can make well-informed decisions of   having one activity, for example,  a photo-elicitation assignment, and then having an activity where  we don't use technology at all, and also not to be afraid to talk  with our participants or our students   about these challenges. Do they notice a difference? How  do they experience that? And ask   them the same critical questions and the same  discussion points that we discuss now together. We shouldn't be hesitant to discuss  that with our students as well.

So, what's next? I think  some of the key areas come   to explore more deeply, I mean, I think  I could come up with like 20 points, but I think we should gain a deeper insight in   mapping or exploring really all the  different ways in which we already use it, and to explore more practical and creative ways  of using digital learning tools in ways that they   can serve the objectives of outdoor  education or of a specific activity. I think the more we learn about this,   the more we can give actual this  practical advices to each other as well. I mean, we're now three PhD students, as  far as we know, working on this topic,   and each of us aims to get to know more about  all these challenges in our own projects. But there's really too much to explore   for just the three of us, and I think one of  the challenges we've discussed together is that   technology advances probably much quicker  than we will be able to finish our PhDs, so we're just trying to keep up here.

And I'm finally, I think one critical aspect  is to better understand the mediating impact   of digital technologies on the actual nature  experience. So, I'm currently writing,   or exploring a postphenomenological  perspective on nature experience.   And, yeah, I hope that that may help us  better understand this final question. I think that's it for now.

Thanks so much, Imre. And now to close  off the presentations, we have Jack Reed. Great. Welcome to those who have just joined  us, I should also say, we've got a   few new faces in here. Thanks for coming. Over to you, Jack. Great, thanks Simon. And yeah, as the chat was going on in the last  plenary, I was thinking ‘my goodness this is   fantastic’, 'cause a lot of  this stuff that's coming up   I'm hoping to discuss in these next 5 minutes.

So, what do we already know? Well, it's important to say that there is a   significant amount of literature  outside the outdoor education field now, that focuses on young people's  uses and relationships with   both networked spaces, which  of course include social media, and something that I found really helpful  here is the term the ‘postdigital’, and so I wouldn't mind briefly discussing this,  and I did write a brief paper in Pathways just   recently about this as well, if you're looking to  have a plan to look at this little bit further. The postdigital recognizes that, especially in  a kind of global North context, that this binary   that we've already discussed between the digital  and the non-digital essentially no longer exists. And we don't need to look very far to see  this. Now this little device that I have here   is my alarm, it's my diary, it's my camera.  It also offers access to my friends,  

to work, and yes, even to those pesky emails. However, as Florian Cramer and Petar  Jandric recently discussed,   the postdigital is a strange term. We essentially live in a society  that is more and more digital. So, the kind of ‘post’ in postdigital  doesn't really make a whole heap of sense. But what the postdigital represents is  that the digital no longer describes   any meaningful difference. The digital is the  default and it is the unescapable condition.  So, why does that matter for outdoor education? Well if we begin from the standpoint that we  no longer have a so-called non-digital sphere, then it's reasonable to suggest at least that   outdoor education is embedded and  sustained in a truly digital culture.

And I think this is important really, when  we're thinking about how learning is both   embedded and sustained for young people  in contemporary educational contexts. So, that's the postdigital, and that's the  kind of collapsing binary that I mentioned   at the end of the plenary there. But moving on to point two,   there are clearly, I think, many areas to  explore here as has already been mentioned, but one area for thought came from  a really interesting book chapter   written by Susan Herring in 2008, called  ‘questioning the generational divide   technological exoticism and adult  constructions of online identity.’ Now in it, she says that when adults  use words such as unprecedented   or words such as transformational in relation to  relationships between young people and technology, then adults inadvertently at least kind of ‘other’  the experiences of young people in this domain. And Herring explains this issue as the  experience gap between young people and adults.

So, really kind of having adults talk  about young people's uses of technology, it must not be at the expense of  listening to learners themselves, and I think this is critical really as we move  forward in outdoor education as we know there is,   for now at least, limited literature which  centralizes the youth voice in this space. And the second issue actually was brought up  by Heidi Smith in the chat not too long aga,   around the kind of sliding scale of  access to technology for young people. It's estimated that over 3.8 billion people have  

some form of access to social  media across the world, but we cannot, and indeed should not,  assume that all young people have   equal access to these forms of technology.  And I think we can go further here. There are other factors at play for  young people who do have a smartphone   who are connected. For instance, things such  as intersectional issues around maybe gender,   sexuality, socioeconomic backgrounds and  ethnicity. And of course there are more. Yeah, we have to ask how these may begin to  affect how young people use networked spaces.  I think these are key areas for the field  of education more broadly to consider, and absolutely key factors for both  research and practice in outdoor education. And finally, point three, it's yeah, super  important that we ask ‘where to next?’ Now, I don't want to bring down the mood here  by mentioning that the Covid word, but I think   this is really important when thinking about where  next, especially in this context of technology, so during lockdowns and isolation, there is  literature now emerging which recognizes how   networked spaces provided a kind of critical  arena for young people's interactions, but also for their learning,  for their sense of togetherness,   and also for their sense of belonging.

And in the UK context at least, as residential  centers begun thankfully reopening,   I think it's really important to recognize  that connectivity for young people   has been, and will likely continue  to be, more important than ever. I think this is a, like I say, a critical  consideration for both research and practice, especially as we hopefully, hopefully  move toward a post-pandemic society. So, overtime. I'll end there. But thank  you very much. Pass back to Simon. Thanks, Jack, Did you manage to  squeeze the word assemblage into that? No, I haven't. I was waiting for it, I was  waiting for the word assemblage. I can tell if somebody’s got  a question about it. But yeah,  

that was a another realm that  just wasn't going fit in. Great, well let's see. I wonder if… there's a Scott in Montreal  who asked a question around technology and   the cost of that for schools, so I wonder if  that could be, we’ll get to the questions in   the chat in just a moment, but I just wanted  to make sure that maybe one of the panellists   could maybe say a word about that, or indeed  an audience member or Brendon our offsider. We've spoken already about what  Heidi and Jack were saying the   cost and access for an individual,  an individual student. But   what does all this mean for the educational  institution or the outdoor center? Is this just part of the existing equipment  budget, or does this mean a whole lot of   additional costs? Not just costs, but that  comes with stress, right? 'Cause people   have to learn how to use all this new stuff as  well. So, I just thought I'd throw that one out.

Is there any one first? Imre, Jack or Brendon,  or Dave who’d like to have a go at that?  Or an audience member, or  we can just let that slide? I can briefly comment on it. I wouldn't  necessarily say that I have an answer to it.   I mean, it's easy speaking for a Norwegian  context where institutions generally have,   there are relatively better budgets than  other institutions around the world, But, I think it's definitely a consideration.  I think it's very important for educators to   kind of survey around the participant group  and check up on what they have access to,   or in possession already, before  making it a part of any curriculum. But I think another consideration,   what you mentioned, is the training  of also the educators themselves.

I mean, we've experienced that  here at the institution at NIH   during the Covid situation, about everyone  being able to use zoom and teach digitally,   and use breakout rooms or have hybrid  classrooms or blended classrooms. I mean, these are things that don't come  naturally to everyone, so I think that's   definitely a consideration before it becomes  kind of generalized - if it ever will. I think you'll find a fair bit of stuff,  especially from the geosciences and from   some of the geography  academics who have found that   issues with BYO - bring your own  devices - that those sort of things just   plague many of their sort of organizational  sort of activities in this area because of the   extremes of, Simon with his $1200 iPhone and  me with my Nokia 3310, that's a brick still.

And those are the things that it takes up   actually more time than just  taking them out into the field. That's pretty prevalent in that literature, and  it's probably something from an outdoor education   field we can learn from others that have gone  before us and tried to trample that path of,   you know, extensive use of technology and that   there's probably some pitfalls  there in that area, especially. There's some interesting, some great stuff  in the chat about the role of virtual reality   as an addition to what we're doing.  But let's chat a little bit about, 'cause right now we we've sort of said we've  got no tech or the integration of tech,   and we're trying to explore this in-between  space where we can use tech well. But there are voices out there, like Bob  Henderson, possibly, and I’m just picking   up on a little thread between there’s Bob and  there was Glyn, I think, and if there were   some other voices, of course,  that, who couldn't join us today, I suspect there would be a  perhaps a stronger chorus of   voices saying ‘yeah, but there is still  a place for the complete, completely   no tech outdoor experience and this is something  that we as outdoor educators can offer the world, a world where young people  are struggling with, you know,   all kinds of screen-related indoor consequences. Well, consequences of extensive screen time,  

extensive indoor, perhaps sedentary time. Extensive attachments to  their network, online spaces. Perhaps outdoor education programs  that offer complete detachment.   This is a big USP that we can  offer that no one else can. I'm just wondering if some folks  would like to comment on that.

Imre is a very good person 'cause she has her  hand up. So Imre you start, and then if anybody   else would like to join in, please just say it  on the chat if you have a comment about that. Thanks go ahead Imre.

Thank you. Well, I'm happy that we start about  this, with this with this question or comment. Because even though we have this webinar  around digital technology and we all   joined together in exploring potential and  possibilities and the challenges and discuss this, which I think is it's really  what we should be doing. It can give the impression   that we are all pro tech and we emphasize  the potential. We emphasize the benefits   and yes, there are lots of benefits and there  are opportunities that are largely unexplored but, like I said before, accepting it to  some extent and employing it to some extent   doesn't mean it will enter the  field or every aspect or every   activity in our outdoor education curriculum, and I think it is still important that we also that we maintain and keep on creating spaces where  there is not that influence of digital technology, and I personally feel quite strongly about  that, because when I go in the outdoors,   even just by myself alone, I have a  different experience when I have my   phone on airplane mode all the way down in my  backpack, just in case I ever need to use it. But really, I'm like no, the next two hours  like I'm just out in the forest without any   interaction with my phone.

And I think that's very different. I  think, however, one consideration is that   when we claim a field that's alternative and  that doesn't use digital technologies in any   way yet - while we do use it in some ways,  but it remains unexplored and unacknowledged. I think there is an issue at the  same time, when we have young people,   especially the ages let's say under 16,   there might be kind of this inner rebellion when  everyone has to put their phone away all the time. But what about like I said,  having open discussions with them,   having a curriculum where there’s  activities where partly there's   technology and there's reflection about  the use of it and the impact of it, and then part of the curriculum or the  activity that's completely without, and offering them thr contrast,  rather than either one of them,   and entering that conversation with them. I think that might definitely be  something to explore and experiment with. Thanks, Imre. Let's move over to Jack.

Great, thank you. Yeah, I find  this whole conversation around   disconnection really very interesting. And something that I've been thinking about  just recently, off the back of some articles   published in the Journal of Adolescent  Research, just a couple of weeks ago,   is the importance of social media and  phones for young people's mental health, which kind of sounds almost polysemantic in  some ways, maybe that's not the right word, but some young people, especially kind of   post-Covid, and this is kind of emerging  in the literature, like I previously said,   are becoming increasingly reliant on these  social media spaces for a sense of connection, and so if we take those social  spaces away from young people,   that it's natural that they're going to experience  anxiety, and at worst potentially fear. And so,   that's just something I'm particularly interested  in, is actually thinking about mental health now, just a couple of examples from  my kind of recent practice. I've heard from some some instructors that young  people who go to residential outdoor learning   center and a really keen to keep their Snapchat  streaks going. Which is where they interact with   one person on a daily basis, and they create  this streak every day as they go forward.

However, this creates this sense of anxiety when  removing the opportunity to keep this going,   because these Snapchat streaks are a method  through which young people kind of ensure   that their friendship is continuing, and so  taking these friendships and opportunities   to connect outside of the outdoor education space,  potentially create some friction for young people. And the other example can very recently, again  from another person who was working with a   bunch of young girls, who were taking  the young girls out for an overnight, and one young girl downloaded  a series of YouTube videos, so that when they were in their biffy at night,  they could fill that kind of sense of connection.   And again, that links potentially into  these conversations around mental health,   anxiety

2021-10-02 04:09

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