Michigan Science education

Plugged In but Tuned Out:
The Need to Reconnect with Nature

Presented by Dr. Herb Broda, Author &
Professor of Education, Ashland University

Dr. Herb Broda of Ashland University will be giving a presentation, “Plugged in but tuned out: The need to reconnect with nature” at 7pm on September 15th at Michigan Tech (135 Fisher Hall). You can find out more information here: Herb Broda Community Flyer 9-15-11.

In this age of alluring techno‐gadgetry, we need to be very cautious about maintaining a balance between indoor & outdoor activity. Children’s natural curiosity about the outdoors is being eclipsed by the demands of busy schedules and the ever‐present glow of video screens.

  • Find out why kids need time outside.
  • How does inventive play benefit kids socially & academically?
  • How can we create welcoming places for outdoor play and
    learning at schools and in the community?

Comments from the Presentation (from Michigan Tech Sustainability Blog Archive for September 2011)

Dr. Herb Broda’s talk last night (Plugged In But Tuned Out) did not disappoint. It was entertaining and informative, if by “entertaining” you include the feeling of being absolutely horrified by choice. (That’s why we go to horror movies after all, yes?)

Among the tidbits that made my hair stand on end, I have to say that his slide listing the recent revisions to the Oxford Junior Dictionary really stunned me.

Gone are words like “acorn”, “otter”, and “dandelion”. In fact, of the 150 words dropped from the dictionary, most were affiliated with nature.

Added to the new addition were the words “blog”, “MP3 player”, “BlackBerry” and “broadband”.

I know that languages go extinct (we’re in an era of a massive language extinction wave now), words are lost or change their spelling or come to mean entirely new things, while new ones continue to arise. But typically when entire collections of words linked by a common subject are lost (think of the vocabulary we’ve lost as automobiles replaced horse-drawn carriages), it indicates a profound shift in a society with often unknown consequences. Our language is a living description of who we are and what we value, and I would hate to think that we have collectively decided that acorns are less important than blogs (including this one!).


Shawn Oppliger, shawn@copperisd.org
Loret Roberts, loret@copperisd.org
Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education
P.O. Box 270 / 809 Hecla St.
Hancock, MI 49930
Tel: (906) 482-0331
Fax: (906) 482-1931
Joan Chadde, jchadde@mtu.edu
K-12 Education & Outreach Program Coordinator,
Lloyd Wescoat, lwescoat@mtu.edu
Education Program Assistant
Michelle Miller, michellem@mtu.edu
Outdoor Science Investigations Field Trip Coordinator
Michigan Technological University
105 Dillman Hall
1400 Townsend Dr.
Houghton, MI 49931-1295
Tel: (906) 487-3341
Fax: (906) 487-1620

The Western UP Center offers a wide variety of K-12 outreach programs in science, mathematics and environmental education to improve K-12 science and mathematics education throughout the state of Michigan.

Copyright © 2011 Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education

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