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Nov 20

Digital Media & Learning Competition

The Virtual Ecotourism project has entered the Digital Media & Learning Badges Competition in a bid to win part of a $200,000 grant for the development of a badging system to reward on-line learning that is difficult to assess in other ways.

 

 

 

Our entry is an interactive experience that summarizes the potential of Virtual Ecotourism to reach out to all corners of the globe and educate individuals about wildlife, ecosystems and conservation issues in a revolutionary and engaging manner while teaching 21st century skills such as cultural awareness, digital literacy and global awareness.

Why might badges be a great strategy for vEco?

Ecotourism allows participants to gain a set of 21st century skills which – although highly useful in the real world – are often not assessed or valued in a meaningful way. A badge system would allow virtual ecotourists to display various achievements, such as scientific and cultural learning, participation in international discussion, and donations to causes so that these competencies and skills do not go unnoticed. It would also allow participants to take on new identities and roles as explorers, communicators and citizen scientists as part of the on-line Virtual Ecotourism community.

Furthermore, jobs within the development and environmental conservation sector often require applicants to have completed some form of voluntary overseas volunteering – a costly prerequisite which makes these positions inaccessible to many individuals. Virtual Ecotourism can make this requirement more equitable by providing a free way to gain a similar set of skills. By participating in virtual tours and receiving badges, students and young adults could show potential employers that they are serious about conservation issues, and understand the nuanced conflicts in countries they perhaps are not able to physically visit. Ideally, badges will be recognized as legitimate symbols of understanding and will increase the likelihood of a disadvantaged individual being chosen for a volunteer program, a student research project, or a job.

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  1. Current Objectives and Strategies II | Virtual Ecotourism

    […] Finally, we have been searching for funding opportunities. This fall we focused on the Digital Media and Learning Competition (see our entry here), and we are proud to announce we were successful in the first round of the judging.  Our success thus far highlights the unique potential of Virtual Ecotourism to reach out to all corners of the globe and educate individuals about wildlife, ecosystems and conservation issues in a revolutionary and engaging manner while teaching 21st century skills such as cultural awareness, digital literacy and global awareness. To read more about this grant proposal, you can access our earlier blog post on this topic here. […]

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