Last week Jeni Paay and Bronwyn Cumbo presented their paper about “Sowing the Seeds for Pro-environmental Behaviour” at the Interaction Design and Children conference in Aarhus. The paper is based on the work done while Bronwyn visited S+I in fall 2013 and is a part of her PhD work at University of Technology Sydney.
Cumbo B.J., Paay J., Kjeldskov J., and Jacobs B.C. (2014) Connecting Children to Nature with Technology: Sowing the Seeds for Pro-environmental Behaviour. Proceedings of Interaction Design and Children, IDC’14, 18-20 June, Aarhus, Denmark. ACM Press.
Abstract. Regular interactions with nature are vital for the development and well-being of children and also to build attachment and value for natural environments that potentially promote pro-environmental behaviour in later life. In this paper, we report on a study designed to identify opportunities for digital technology to support children’s connectedness to the natural environment, thereby encouraging positive environmental attitudes in children, as well as healthy physical play. Through participatory engagement with a group of 15 Danish children (aged 8-12) and their parents, using focus groups and follow up interviews, we explore what motivates children to undertake everyday recreational activities, focusing on activities undertaken in nature, and how these interactions influence meaning associated with their local natural place. The contribution of this paper is a deeper understanding of what motivates children to interact with nature, and a discussion of how technology may enhance this interaction.