From Books to Blogs: How students learn in the age of information. Becca Polglase

Becca Polglase is the Director of Education at The Mountaineers and established our youth programs after working as an outdoor educator for her entire professional life. As Outdoor Educators, we know the incredible social, emotional and spiritual value of experiential learning. The lessons learned through trial and error, the relationships built while problem-solving the unexpected, and the health benefits of time outside are unmatched in any other educational venue. This was as true when The Mountaineers was founded in 1906, as well as when the first Outward Bound school was founded in 1941, and as it still is today. But there are many things about the world today that are very different from the way they were a century ago, a half century ago, and even a decade ago. Our lives are busier, we are exposed to more information than we can handle mentally or emotionally, and our urban areas have grown up and out at rates our grandparents might not have expected. We know that our students have access to everything they want online, whether good or bad. Our younger generations are master multitaskers and have shorter attention spans as a result. All of our students are coming to us seeking experience, community or both, much like the students of 1906 or 1941. Today’s students are working with different realities, however, and our industry has an obligation to adjust our methods to meet the needs of today’s students. In this session, we’ll look at ways technology can help or hinder outdoor education, and discuss things we can do in our own programs to meet the needs of today’s students.