In late September, I will be heading to Canberra to present a joint paper written between myself and Dr. Ely Wallis of Museum Victoria at the Australian Association for Environmental Education (AAEE) 2010 Conference. This paper will be about our work together, as part of the Atlas of Living Australia project, and the abstract is below.
Engaging students in climate change science via mobile educational tools
Piers Higgs, Gaia Resources, WA
Elycia Wallis, Museum Victoria, VIC
Museum Victoria, with project funding from the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, and the Atlas of Living Australia have partnered on a project to deliver an educational toolkit to schools, which allows students to record observations of animals in the field using a mobile tool. Once students have logged their sightings, the records are delivered to the Earthwatch Institute’s Climatewatch program, where the data will be used to assess the impacts of climate change. This provides an authenticity to the learning experience, as students are contributing data to a real world project. The web-based tool for logging sightings in the field is supported by educational materials, specifically lesson plans and a field guide for identifying animals. The educational materials developed as part of this project are available to other institutions to use, and the software developed is also freely available and is provided as an open source product. The provision of these tools in conjunction with educational materials is an innovative aspect of this work, delivering a holistic learning experience from classroom to researcher.
As you probably are already well aware, the software we built for the Climatewatch project recently won a WA Spatial Excellence Award, and this project has further developed this software. Anyway, it looks like I’ll be living in Canberra for a couple of weeks around this time, as we’ll also be heading to the Spatial@gov conference, too.