I, Joy Kirr, am a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. My 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of my learning experiences... Want to have me speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is my PORTFOLIO.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Forest App

(Before reading on, you may want to see the update at the end of this post.)

I don't get a ton of apps for my iPhone. I can get addicted to games very easily, so I make sure they work my brain, and then I hide them together in one group.

At one EdCamp, I asked about teacher stress. It was a particularly stressful year, and I needed tips. One of those tips was to download the "Forest" app. Since I didn't think it would help me immediately, I put it off until recently.

At $1.99, I love it. Their advertisement says "Stay focused. Be present." It does helps me focus on what I NEED to do first. It helps me be more in the PRESENT. It helps me look around and enjoy the NOW, and not have to share instantly on social media. It helps me read more. I have "killed" a few of my fake trees in my fake forest because I had to take a photo of something I think I'd never see again, or because I had to text my coworker about the library book sale (today), but most of the time, I let it go. The phone CAN wait. I love how it's helping me be more patient and it's actually helping me get other things accomplished.

There are a bunch of cute trees for your virtual forest you can "buy" for 500 virtual coins, but another reason I love this app is because I can save my coins and plant an ACTUAL tree. Granted, I haven't done the research yet on where this tree will go, but I have faith in it.
I am not spending my fake money for cute trees in my virtual forest until I have planted five REAL trees. I'm excited to save these virtual coins to plant more trees in the world.

So... I'm not getting paid to sell this app, but if you feel you spend too much time on your phone, and you'd like to help the environment a teeny bit, you would benefit from it like I am.

January, 2019 Update - The Forest App no longer plants real trees. I have since stopped using it, as actually not picking up my phone helped me plant a real tree. They let me plant five, and then they said they couldn't afford any more. I had reached my quota. The ability to choose pretty trees on the app itself suddenly didn't entice me.

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