1. Tell us a bit about your role! I’ve just joined the team as Head …
1. Tell us a bit about your role! What do you do at Wildscreen? There …
Can Nature and Technology coexist?
We better hope so, because the survival of our own species depends on us switching children on to nature.
It sounds dramatic because it is. Connecting young people with nature improves mental health and wellbeing. Experienced educators know that children, especially those who are neurodivergent, find the sensory experience of being outside immensely calming.
Right now, it’s good for body and soul. Down the line, solid connections to nature will help to prepare this generation to take custody of the planet, as it enters a period of extreme peril. If we’re to have any hope of navigating the socio-economic impact of climate change and the decimation of eco-systems, we need to start by helping children understand that a great tit is, indeed, a type of bird.
“Ha!” I hear you cry – “I could definitely identify a great tit if I saw one”!
Do you think your children could? Or the children that are the most likely to be affected by climate change? Are they being taught skilfully about this in school? Are they even in school? Recent research in the UK tells us that many teachers aren’t confident in teaching about climate change, and students aren’t learning enough about biodiversity and nature, even at this crucial time (SOS-UK Schools Sustainability Survey, Green Schools Project, 2021) The same research tells us that young people are hungry to learn more about nature and find out what they can do to help.
Access to real nature is a huge issue. Projects like the National Nature Park are a great step, but with limited support in schools for biodiversity and sustainability coordination, the reality remains that a large subset of our young population cannot access real nature. It’s difficult if you don’t have a car and live in a city. Teachers need to travel hours to find real natural environments for field work – if they are lucky enough to have a supportive Head. Running one of these trips myself, there were 18 year-old students where Devon (from Bristol) was the furthest they’d ever travelled. There is a lot of fear of nature and all its legs.
Wildscreen ARK will address this. We’re creating a nature content platform specifically designed for exploration where teenagers are – on their screens. We recognise the pitfalls of doom-scrolling so we’ve designed Wildscreen ARK in a way that encourages thoughtful, empowered exploration. Our ideal user journey is one where they engage with Wildscreen ARK, learn more about nature that they didn’t already know, and feel more equipped and confident about living through a biodiversity and climate crisis. Tech is just a tool. Nature is the solution. If you agree, please follow us as we try to make a difference.
Wildscreen ARK Programme Manager
Wildscreen ARK coming soon!