WWF's Conservation Innovation Awards

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Immersive Conservation

The aim for this idea is to create virtual reality resources for teachers in both in primary and secondary schools to enable immersive conservation experiences without leaving the classroom. Five virtual reality experiences will be developed which will focus on the NZ curriculum of environmental education. Google cardboards are inexpensive and can potentially be given away for free. Educators will have many opportunities to assess students’ learning by watching their performance on interactive quizzes.  Then educators can complete the field trip on virtual reality device, allowing students to engage with the content in cooperative groups. These apps will use the immersive power of virtual reality to create visceral learning experiences. Examples could include: vr experiences based on identifying pests in the environment. Teachers will be able to use this technology for a variety of curriculum areas to increase awareness on conservation issues.

What conservation problem are you trying to solve?

With the deprivation of Earth environment, environmental education is gaining more concern in New Zealand and the world. The future generations must be aware of the different strengths, weaknesses and challenges in the different solutions being offered. They must have a vivid picture of all the different environmental problems and what is currently been done. This will inspire young children to protect the environment and their habitat as a New Zealand taonga.

How are you going to solve this conservation problem?

Educational research shows that the application of virtual reality in environmental education can not only raise educational quality but provide real experiences for all children without having to actually be there. A myriad of articles, studies and conference presentations attest to the great success of 3D immersion and VR technology in hundreds of classrooms in educationally progressive schools and learning labs in the U.S. and Europe. 5 virtual reality experiences will be developed which will focus on the New Zealand curriculum of environmental education. An accompanying website with outreach materials will be developed. Interactive 360° video and imagery provides the highest quality VR environment, easily accessed through mobile devices, internet browsers and Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs) like the Gear VR, Oculus, and Google Cardboard. The topics of these will be in negotiation with WWF in and the environmental education curriculum.

What makes your idea new and unique?

Much of this early foray into VR-based learning has centred on the hard sciences — biology, anatomy, geology and astronomy — as the curricular focus and learning opportunities are notably enriched through interaction with dimensional objects, animals and environments. This project will provide learning experiences on environmental education which are in line with the New Zealand curriculum and the conservation issues facing our country. Providing access without having to leave the classroom.

Who will use your idea, and how will they benefit?

Teachers and students in both primary and secondary schools can run this project once it gets established.  Other environmental education groups. Possible mobile workshops WWF could take on the road to raise awareness.

What tasks or activities do you need investment for? How would you spend a $25,000 grant?

Development of virtual reality applications and teacher resources which are in line with the New Zealand curriculum and conservation education. An accompanying website with outreach materials will be developed. Develop a teacher training workshop on how to use the resource for their students so that we could replicate and expand to a full scale project.

 

Hire or purchase of a high quality 360 degree video camera. Currently $6000 to purchase.


Travel costs for filming 360 degree immersive videos on major conservation issues.

Are you a New Zealand citizen or resident?

YES

I have read and agree to the Crowdicity Terms of Use, the Conservation Innovation Awards 2016 Supplemental Terms and Conditions, and the Crowdicity Community Guidelines

YES

List five other ideas posted in the challenge that excite you. Why?

Traps, Rats and Stats – a trapping programme for school children. The Forest Bridge trust have expressed that they could use vr for their idea in catching pests!  Predator Free New Zealand: the Facebook frontier. This is an excellent idea to get more Kiwi's on-board through the modern digital tools which have become largely ubiquitous. Wasp Wipeout. Wasps are a huge pest! Wild about NZ Wildlife. More vibrant NZ native wildlife areas!  Pollinator Wall. Connecting local communities and school children to create habitats for urban pollinators. 

How could you improve your idea?

These experiences could provide environmental education for those with mobility issues like the elderly or the disabled. WWF would receive more community support from vr for those people whom access is an issue. These experiences could also be used to effectively rally more community support for changes in conservation legislation. They also do not need to be restricted to the NZ environmental education curriculum but could be adapted for other subject areas. Additionally, the experiences could be used to engender curiosity about visiting areas of New Zealand, people commonly do not know are in danger. Google cardboards are inexpensive and can potentially be given away for free.

Tagged users
edited on Oct 11, 2016 by Chris Petrie

Chris Petrie Oct 6, 2016

Comments appreciated!

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Chad188 Oct 6, 2016

This is a great idea! As a year 8 teacher I would find this resource really useful

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Chris Petrie Oct 11, 2016

Thank you Chad188!

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Chris Petrie Oct 13, 2016

As a secondary school teacher, I would too! I think there are many subject areas vr environmental education apps could be adapted for. Science, social studies, english, technology...

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View all replies (2)

Jimmie Bond Oct 6, 2016

VR is a whole new thing, will definitely change education for sure

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Chris Petrie Oct 11, 2016

Totally agree Jimmie! We learn through so much better through what we experience.

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Allan Parker Oct 6, 2016

really cool

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Chris Petrie Oct 11, 2016

Thanks Parker!

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The Forest Bridge Trust Oct 6, 2016

Can you tell me if you are going to have a VR experience based on pests? The CatchIT Schools programme we deliver could use such a technique to emphasise the messages we are trying to get across.

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Chris Petrie Oct 11, 2016

That is a great idea! Using a VR app which gets children to identify pests in a vr experience would really make the CatchIT Schools idea come alive! This wouldn't be too hard. Collaboration like this will be key in making the primary conservation issues really clear.

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The Forest Bridge Trust Oct 12, 2016

Make contact with us if your idea becomes a reality - we would be interested! theforestbridgetrust@gmail.com

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Chris Petrie Oct 12, 2016

Awesome, I definitely will!

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View all replies (3)

Sam King Oct 11, 2016

This will be really helpful for implementing the environmental education curriculum. It would be great to get some vr experiences for an NZ context

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Chris Petrie Oct 12, 2016

Awesome, thank you for your comment sammyking!

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Carro Law Oct 12, 2016

providing experiences for the elderly and with mobility issues sounds like a great way to get these groups involved

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Chris Petrie Oct 12, 2016

I agree! I think providing access for those currently without access is where vr really shines

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Joel S Oct 13, 2016

It is exciting to consider what could be accomplished if the power of virtual reality were harnessed for education rather than gaming

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Chris Petrie Oct 13, 2016

I couldn't agree more! Thanks for the comment :)

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Henry Oct 13, 2016

apps for an nz context would be really helpful for teaching the environmental education curriculum – i really hope this gets chosen!

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Chris Petrie Oct 13, 2016

Thank you!

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Chris Petrie Oct 13, 2016

Feel free to ask any questions! I am only happy to answer :D

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Olivia Rothwell Oct 13, 2016

Fantastic idea! I was at a Google event last year which showcased google cardboard using footage from David Attenborough's upcoming Great Barrier Reef documentary. With so many people disconnected with nature we need innovative solutions to get people re-engaged with nature. We want to use Celium in classrooms (see Celium- natures internet) in order to create a more interactive way for the younger generation to get involved in trapping. I think that there are some exciting ways to use VR and real-time trapping data to create an exciting experience that can be brought to the classroom.

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Chris Petrie Oct 14, 2016

Thanks Olivia! That is a great idea about using vr for people to get involved with trapping. This could definitely be one of the experiences that gets built!

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Christopher Wingate Oct 13, 2016

I am hoping to get your support to vote for Dr Maggie Evans who until I intervened only had 2 votes. Her work is critical science to help save critically endangered birds such as the Kakapo. Please take a look and lets all give her our support. We are all in this together. Cheers- https://wwf-nz.crowdicity.com/post/285779

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Chris Petrie Oct 14, 2016

Thanks Christopher, I'll take a look at it! Good luck :)

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