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LEARN & EXPLORE
  • CONSERVATION EDUCATION RESOURCES: GETTING STARTED FOR TEACHERS

    Logo for Tree Trails

    We're glad you're adding Tree Trails to your student's learning experiences. We want kids to get outside to learn about forests and trees and their uses, values and benefits. We combine classroom digital media and internet technology with outdoor learning opportunities. Here you will find tips and information to help you add a Tree Trail on your campus.


     + Background

    Tree Trails is a mapping and curriculum project of Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS) and Texas Urban Forestry Council (TUFC) and was supported by a grant from the USDA Forest Service. It is the mission of TFS to provide statewide leadership to assure the state's trees, forests and natural resources are protected and sustained for the benefit of all. It is the purpose of TUFC to serve as a forum for education, networking and advocacy for those interested in impacting the community forests of Texas. Both organizations firmly believe that Tree Trails will create a new generation of citizens, who will become stewards of our rural and urban forests by learning to conserve, protect and enhance our trees, forests and natural resources.  Learn more about TFS and TUFC on their websites.

    Student Responses:

    • It was different—we did not do anything like this last year.
    • I want to come back from high school to see my tree.
    • It was fun learning how to do things on the computer like ID trees and make the trail.
    • I got to see a new side of trees.

    Teacher Responses:

    • My students loved being outdoors. They enjoyed learning about their tree and how it benefits their environment.
    • I think the use of the Tree Trails Project is a fun way to educate our students about the natural world. Our 21st century learners need this type of curriculum to balance their technology skills and help them to understand concepts of our natural world that are not necessarily taught in the classroom.
     + Implementation

    Order

    The first three modules create the tree trail online and should be implemented in order. Modules Four through Nine can be implemented in any order. Module Ten is a culminating service leadership experience.

    Limited time

    If you have limited time, start with the first three modules. Add Module Ten for your students to have a service leadership experience. With more time, add one or more of Modules Four through Nine based on your students’ interest in the topics.

    Technology modifications

    1. Recreate the pretest and posttest using an online survey program. Free programs allow the creator to see results from a class set.

    2. Use flash drives to create an electronic Learning Log or to save other work produced in the Modules.


    About this crowdsourced mapping program

    The Tree Trails mapping program is crowdsourced, meaning that the trail content is user generated. Because of that, each tree and trail exists unless a user changes or deletes it. The negative is that any user can modify any tree or trail. The positive is that your students can edit any of their own entries. Students can even practice adding trees and trails, delete them, then enter their official trees for their trail.

    Mapping a trail

    Several resources are available to help get you started in creating a trail. 

    1. A digital tour of the mapping program provides an introduction to the tools in the application. Find it under the Help icon on the mapping application.

    2. A Quick Start guide is available to download. Find it under Resources on the mapping application.

    3. Through the Individual and Community Guide, find the Steps To Create Your Trail Online. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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