Promise or Peril? The Role of Technology in Environmental Education: A Round Table Proposal | eePRO @ NAAEE

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Promise or Peril? The Role of Technology in Environmental Education: A Round Table Proposal

Greetings, NAAEE Technology and EE Folks!

The time has come to start thinking seriously about the 2017 NAAEE Conference. Puerto Rico in October, anyone?

I propose that we pool our resources and backgrounds here to put together a Round Table Proposal for the Conference. Any Takers? If you are at all interested, please respond on this thread, sharing a few sentences about your background in relation to the topic. We can then arrange a time for a synchronous meeting on Zoom or via conference call, to start getting to work.

Time is of the essence! The deadline for proposals is April 10th.

Here is the information on Round Tables, taken from the Call for Presentations:

Roundtable Discussions
(40 minutes) Roundtable discussions emphasize spirited discussion between the
presenter(s) and session attendees about a central question. Presenters briefly introduce the
baseline idea or issue they wish to explore, and then open the discussion for input and
exchange of ideas among participants. Examples and interactive materials are welcome, but
this format does not lend itself to formal presentations, and PowerPoints are strongly
discouraged. Roundtable discussions are held throughout the conference and there will be
about six tables in the same large room. No A/V equipment or electricity is provided but
presenters may use their own laptops or tablets at low volume.

Interested? Respond below! Let's collaborate!

Clifford Blizard, Moderator, Technology and EE

Yes! I would certainly be interested in being part of this roundtable discussion/debate.
My research looks at the ways in which mobile technologies (in my case, I have designed an e-Trailguide for our environmental center) can meaningfully engage people with nature. I particularly look at what design features within the e-Trailguide facilitate closer observations of one's surroundings during a nature hike.
Although this is my research focus and I tend to advocate for conscientious ways to design technology for outdoor engagement, I am also cognizant of the 'other side of the coin' and understand the drawbacks of technology and it's distraction from engaging with one's surroundings.
I agree that this is an intriguing topic that 21st century environmental educators are contemplating regularly--I think this would be a great roundtable discussion for NAAEE next year!
Thanks for spearheading this effort, Clifford!
Lucy (Penn State; Shaver's Creek Environmental Center)


Marvelous! Let's wait a couple of days and see if anyone else wants to join us. I am thinking in terms of scheduling a conference call for sometime this Friday, March 17th. I know that isn't much time, but we would need to submit a proposal soon. Plus, I am headed overseas on Saturday to Australia -- I will continue working during my trip, but the time difference will make synchronous conversation more difficult.


Hello! I'm Alex Porpora and I'm the Education Manager at WildWorks. We are a video game studio based in Salt Lake City and creators of the game Animal Jam, in association with National Geographic. While our game is primarily a safe social network for children, we offer a variety of touch points in-game for kids to interact with content and connect with scientists and explorers. We frequently work with conservation and education orgs to include relevant environmental education content in game, and create offline educational resources.

I would, at the very least, be interested in joining this discussion.


Greetings, Lucy and Alex (and anyone else who would care to join us)!

It looks like we have at least a trio of us interested in engaging in roundtable discussion in San Juan in October!

As a next step, I propose setting up a conference call for this Friday (March 17th). I am available just about all day, Eastern Time. Eight possible times would be 9 am, 10 am, 11 am, 12 noon, 1pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, and 4 pm Eastern Time. Alex and Lucy (and anyone else out there who would like to join our group), could you please respond to this post, letting me know which of those will work for you? If you have a preference for one or two of the proposed time slots, share that, too. Sorry for the rush -- I am off to Australia for a few weeks on Saturday, and would like to move this process forward before my flight.

The purpose of our phone meeting would be 1) to introduce ourselves and our background briefly; 2) to review the requirements for submitting a Round Table proposal for the NAAEE Conference in October; and 3) to plan out how to work together to put the proposal together and submit it by April 10th.

Again, I encourage other EE Pro Technology & EE group members to consider joining us, too. The more diverse a collection of discussion leaders we can have, the more engaging the discussion will be!


Greetings, Lucy!

I posted a new response under this Discussion Thread, with some times on Friday for a conference call. Please read it over as soon as you can, and let me know what times would fit your schedule.

I look forward to our conversation!


Greetings, Lucy, Alex, and other interested EEPro folks out there!

We are officially forming a Technology and EEPro Round Table group for the October 2017 NAAEE Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Our kick-off meeting for putting together a proposal submission will be on Friday, March 17th, at 2 pm Eastern Time. Here is the information you will need to participate in the call (everyone is welcome!):

Participant Instructions
Call your Dial-In Number: (515) 604-9606
Enter your Access Code: 958405

I look forward to our conversation!

Between now and then, I encourage you to read over the draft proposal form that we will need to complete. You can download it from (near the bottom of the page, with white lettering in a teal box).