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Out of the classroom and into the wild

9 July, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the education of 1.5 billion students around the world and, although activities have continued online for some, more than 50% of learners worldwide do not have a household computer. New research into outdoor learning might help to boost education levels during and after COVID-19 and create some lessons for those of us whose school days are behind us. 

The research shows outdoor learning has significant benefits for both children and teachers. The researchers looked at outdoor learning spaces in Bangladesh and found that working outdoors not only benefitted the students’ motivation and mental well-being, but also improved their grades and memory. This style of hands-on learning made education engaging and fun for the children and they found that those who were normally quieter in the classroom were more engaged and eager to participate outdoors.  

So, as some businesses navigate their transitions back to offices and others continue to work from home, are there learnings in this research that could be applied to our news ways of working? We think so.  

Sitting at a desk all day has been shown to increase the risks of chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and depression. And, pre-COVID, a number of iconic entrepreneurs from Steve Jobs to Richard Branson were already strong advocates of the outdoor ‘walk-and-talk’ meeting to inspire creativity and those eureka moments.  

Now lockdown is easing, is it time for us all to make the most of the outdoors and join our meetings whilst on the move? Not only will this help you get closer to reaching the ambitious 10,000 step goal, but it should also help reduce video fatigue, boost creativity and make you feel more energised. 

By Gemma Coate

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