Fractals: A Natural Model Technology Supported Learning Outside




Weston, Lawrence Edward

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Fractals are repeating, recursive, diminishing patterns often found in nature. Imagine a tree, starting with the trunk, held strong by its roots that expand into the soil in support of the branches, stems and twigs that extend up and out. As the tree grows in every direction, the branches and roots are increasingly finer, more delicate, fluid and growing versions of the original trunk. New schools, inquiry projects, and this paper share this model of growth. All start with a big idea, extend out in divergent directions and uncover new questions as the inquiry lives and grows. This paper is part of a larger inquiry project looking at developing a land-based middle school at the new school I am fortunate to help co-create. That school is Mill Bay Nature School, on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. To support this inquiry, these chapters attempt to summarize a small part of the current literature on pedagogical best-practice and the use of technology in education. The large central trunk themes arising from the literature on current pedagogy include experiential learning, land based learning, place-based learning, place-conscious learning, Indigenous pedagogy and its connection to 21st Century Learning. Other branches of literature reviewed include a view of the accelerated use of technology in education, student and teacher engagement, the dynamic needs of modern learners, and the current focus on twenty-first century skills. The sources are primarily published in the past five years. As much as possible focus on the local context, issues and opportunities specific to the Province of British Columbia, Vancouver Island and ultimately my own school. This collection represents the serendipitous wonders that became the branches, stems and twigs of my inquiry my goal of bringing educational technology and learning outside together.



Nature School, British Columbia