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How to Make Screen Time Green Time

As technology becomes more embedded into our everyday lives, it often gets blamed for keeping us indoors. These days, it’s more important than ever to actively choose to spend time outdoors, and there are great ways technology can enhance time outside.


Fitness and Outdoor Activity Tracking Apps

Wearable technology like Apple Watches and FitBits are becoming more popular, and are helping motivate people towards more active lifestyles. They offer a wide variety of fitness plans, health challenges, and activity trackers, which can incentivize people to get moving. There are also a variety of apps that motivate people to get active outside, like Strava, MapMyRun, and AllTrails. These apps can help people discover new trails, track their outdoor activity, and introduce them to outdoor recreation in approachable ways.


Education and Conservation

The internet has given people incredible access to nature and conservation education. There are YouTube and TikTok accounts dedicated to educating people about their local environments, not to mention the research papers and documentaries that are freely available to the public.


Augmented Reality and Nature Exploration

Augmented Reality (AR) is a great way that technology can enhance outdoor experiences because it interacts with the environment and encourages people to engage with it. Pokemon GO was a catalyst for popularizing AR and encouraging people to go outside and be active, and there has been so much innovation in AR games in recent years.

The Agents of Discovery app uses AR to encourage youth and families to get active, get outside, and get learning about the world around them. Agents of Discovery makes going outside fun and engaging. Here are a few ways Agents encourages active outdoor experiences:

    • Taking Gaming Outside: Agents of Discovery encourages youth to go outside by creating engaging gamified content that gets them engaged with the world around them.
    • Content on a Variety of Topics: Agents of Discovery has lots of available Missions on topics like science, arts, history, wildfire safety, and more. This makes the app approachable to new players who want to explore and learn about topics they’re already interested in. Missions are also available at a variety of locations, so people can explore at many different levels. For example, they can start by visiting a local park to play a Mission, or they check out a longer trail or a national forest for more of a physical challenge.
    • Interactive Learning: Each Mission has a variety of games within it, so players stay engaged in the content. Whether they’re trying to catch virtual objects in an AR catch Challenge or picking options in a multiple choice question, players will be immersed in learning. The interactivity of the app helps players keep moving through the Mission, and through the world around them.
    • Community: Agents of Discovery Missions are great to play with friends and family. Creating memories with others while playing can encourage people to go out more, try new Missions, and explore the outdoors. Studies show that being active with others can motivate people to be more consistently active.

Technology doesn’t have to be a barrier to active outdoor exploration – it can be a bridge between the comfort and fun of interactive games and physical activity in nature. Innovative technology, like wearable tech and AR, can be used to encourage outdoor recreation and foster education and appreciation of nature. Agents of Discovery’s primary objective is to use technology to interact with the world around them. By integrating the benefits of technology with humanity’s innate need for nature, we can pave the way for a healthier, more connected future.


Agents of Discovery

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