WE ALL KNOW THAT TEACHERS, in addition to teaching, are required to constantly keep up with and learn the latest technologies. And, over the last few years this task has become even more challenging with the advent of tablets and smartphones and the (sometimes) wonderful things they help us do in the classroom. Once a novelty, the iPad has become ubiquitous in our schools. And while the iPad can be a very powerful tool for you and your students, the number of apps, or applications, is overwhelming. So, to save you some time and help prepare you for getting your students – and their iPads and iPhones – outside this spring, we thought we’d share a few of our favorite outdoor education apps.
Key to Woody Plants of Wisconsin Forests, a free iPad and iPhone app, authored by Catherine L. Woodward, Ph.D. UW-Madison Institute for Biology Education, is a fantastic tool for identifying Wisconsin trees, shrubs, and vines. Set up like a dichotomous key, the app includes 85 species of trees and 57 species of shrubs and vines and includes native, exotic, and invasive species. This free app was made possible by a grant from the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board.
Leafsnap, developed by researchers from Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution contains beautiful high-resolution images of leaves, flowers, fruit, petiole, seeds, and bark. Currently Leafsnap contains the trees of the Northeast, but will soon include trees from the entire continental United States. Visit their website to see the tree species included in Leafsnap, the collections of its users, and the team of research volunteers working to produce it.
TreeBook is the authoritative guide to 100 of the most common trees in North America, produced by veteran forester Steve Nix (of forestry.about.com fame), and developed by Ash Mishra (developer of the very popular CBC Hockey and CBC Radio apps). - description from the iTunes Store
Horticulture, Art, and Food Combined
HORTICULTURE, ART, AND FOOD science combined? A community in California has planted what they refer to as “Edible Art” in a local park. As you read the article, can you think of a place in your community this could be done? (OK, not with limes and avocados, but perhaps a nice heirloom Wolf River apple developed right here in Wisconsin?) Think about doing this right on your school grounds with students from art, social studies, and family and consumer science classes helping out. Check with your facilities manager to see where it might work, find a local nursery or landscape plant dealer who might donate some or all the trees, ask a local arborist to demonstrate proper tree planting techniques, then get planting!!
Read the full article by Alliance for Commnunity Trees.
Greening Your Math Program: Mathematics in the Forest
LEAF and the Kickapoo Valley Reserve are hosting this hands-on teaching workshop for math teachers. The workshop focuses on outdoor application of algebra, geometry and trigonometry. In addition to inspiring ideas, you’ll also get mathematics-related lesson materials to take back to your classroom.
Forestry Education in the
Wisconsin K-12 Classroom Workshop
Get the convenience of online learning with the benefit of an interactive day spent with peers. LEAF’s hybrid workshop teaches you key forestry principles, demonstrates teaching techniques, and gives you great activities so you can easily integrate forestry education into your indoor or outdoor classroom. Our excellent instructors tailor each workshop to meet the needs of participants. You will receive a grade-specific unit of our highly-regarded LEAF Wisconsin K-12 Forestry Lesson Guide and additional materials.
Location: Internet & Wehr Nature Center, Franklin, WI
- Dates & Times: April 15 – May 17, 2013
- April 15 – 26 – Online discussion
- April 27 (Saturday), 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM - Face-to-face meeting in Franklin
- April 28 – May 17 – Online discussion
- Instructor: Brian Wahl
- Materials Fee: $35
- Franklin Flyer
- Franklin Registration Form
- Registration Deadline: April 12, 2013
Location: Internet & Spooner, WI
- Dates & Times: April 8 – May 10, 2013
- April 8 – 19 – Online discussion
- April 20 (Saturday), 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM - Face-to-face meeting in Spooner
- April 21 – May 10 – Online discussion
- Instructor: Mary Pardee
- Materials Fee: $35
- Spooner Flyer
- Spooner Registration Form
- Registration Deadline: April 5, 2013