ForestLearning boosts innovative online learning options for kids
FWPA’s ForestLearning program has long focused on providing free quality resources for teachers, parents and students. And this has never been more pertinent than with the current global situation.
Resources range from virtual reality (VR) to live webinars with forestry professionals, and more. And with so much of its innovative content already designed for online delivery, the program is in a strong position to offer an expanding number of learning opportunities to students during this unprecedented time, as demand for remote learning options increases.
The goal of ForestLearning is to successfully integrate forestry and sustainable wood product information into young people’s learning, while aligning with Australian curriculum outcomes.
Since launching last September, the program’s ForestVR™ initiative has allowed students to experience forest and mill environments first-hand through the magic of VR. This immersive technology comprises a series of 360-degree virtual tours and video experiences, which can be accessed via ForestLearning website or by downloading the recently-launched ForestVR™ app.
Content and experiences within the app can be viewed using tablets, laptops or VR headsets, making it accessible in all environments. The app allows content to be downloaded natively to devices, overcoming any WiFi buffering issues. Extra functionality also allows teachers to directly start, stop or pause video experiences for whole-of-class activities.
To further extend the reach of the ForestVR™ technology, a new app has been launched. It allows virtual experiences to be shared using any tablet or smartphone device, and includes additional features to support effective delivery of the content.
This year will also see the continuation of the free Forester Time webinars, which allow Australian students to join forest workers out in the field in real time to — all without leaving their classroom! The Forester Time initiative allows students to learn more about the daily work of foresters, sustainable forest management and career pathways.
“Following the success of these sessions in the past, the new opportunities around schooling from home, and current restrictions on school excursions, Forester Time will continue to connect more teachers, parents and students with forest and wood processing professionals via the online video conferencing tool, Zoom,” said Beth Welden, ForestLearning Manager.
“The activities of the ForestLearning program are designed to educate children about the sustainable forest and wood product industry, as they grow up to become leaders, policy makers and consumers. At the same time, we hope to inspire young people to consider career options in the sector.”
And you can now keep up to date with all the latest news from the ForestLearning program by signing up to their quarterly e-news at http://www.forestlearning.edu.au/, or connecting on Facebook or the recently launched LinkedIn page.