As teachers, we’re always trying to find new and exciting ways to make our class content more relevant and engaging for our students. Fortunately, science offers many connections with what’s right outside our classroom doors. Whether we’re measuring water quality, exploring experimental design, or collecting biodiversity data, moving the instruction outside onto school grounds helps my students make connections between science and the environment they live in.

Technology makes these mini-field trips more manageable and meaningful. With tech tools, we can easily organize and share the data outside, which saves time for deeper discussions and reflections. Also, outdoor learning is more budget-friendly, because the apps are available on devices we already have. There are many exciting and innovative ways to get students outside and learning with technology. Get started with these three ways to explore the great outdoors.

1. Use apps that collect scientific data

Science Journal is a lab-sensor app that uses your Android or Apple phone or tablet to collect scientific data: light, sound, motion, and more. As teachers, we’re used to getting creative to give students the best learning opportunities possible, but we are often faced with tough decisions because of budgetary constraints. This app allows for more experiments and less constraints, using a tool we already have.

About the Author:

Barbara Huth joined the Common Sense Education team in 2016. As the D.C. Metro regional education manager, she collaborates with school districts across D.C., Maryland, and Virginia to help build the foundational digital-citizenship skills to utilize all the opportunities that technology in the classroom can offer. Huth has over 10 years of experience in education and is a National Board Certified Science Teacher. She is extremely passionate about finding ways to use technology in the classroom to engage students in solving real-world problems.