Enhancing secondary school ecological learning using Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR).
Disconnection between people and natural landscapes (‘nature deficit disorder’) is well documented given its impact on mental health and well-being, especially as urbanisation increases, and concerns anthropologists, educationalists, environmentalists, and governments. Emerging technologies providing immersive and engaging experiences, such as AR and VR, can effectively improve people’s motivation, learning, and spatial awareness.
This project creates an AR/VR experience of Victoria’s Western Volcanic Plains, immersing users in a virtual natural landscape and encouraging a powerful connection with nature when they see through the eyes of endangered species to enhance high quality learning about the Western Plains ecosystems. Accessing such science can support students to value biodiversity and work towards developing sustainable futures.
This project focuses on year 7 and year 8 students, engaging them in ecology-based learning using immersive media to showcase local species for local kids and connected communities in Victoria.
Toija Cinque is leading the project “Augmenting Greener Futures: Educating the Next Generation of Citizen Scientists”