See “Greening the Net Generation” article.
Having read one article after another on online education and facilitating the adult learner in this digital age, I craved a contrasting view on this overpowering trend. This article on outdoor education with the integration of electronic media is a refreshing balance on the needs of an adult human being, rather than just an isolated focus on the adult as a student. Though this integration will prove extremely difficult in some areas of instruction, I feel it worthy to explore. The “Net generation”, as coined by the article’s author, has always known the internet. We have always been connected, been online, been inside. There must be a way to encourage our adult learners to connect with the outdoors. E-learning is not so powerful that it can negate the need for a connection with nature. My own area on instruction has always been based indoors, but I do see an opportunity for outdoor exploration. I facilitate an online course on ethical theories that contains a considerable component of discussion and debate. This might be just the opportunity our students need to get out and explore the world, and then combine this real-world experience with the technology we all know and love by creating a multi-media presentation. And how is it fortunate that the course runs in the summer. Is this fate?