Encontros Scientia

How may Biodiversity Web Portals help to reconnect education with nature?

How may Biodiversity Web Portals help to reconnect education with nature?

Rosalina Gabriel (IBBC – cE3c/GBA)

Biodiversity loss is a complex issue, and a risk that education cannot overlook. Teachers play a crucial role in how biodiversity, and in particular local biodiversity, is understood. To provide insight on how to improve communication on the subject, we investigate teachers’ perspectives and social representations about biodiversity, their fluency on the internet, familiarity with biodiversity web portals, and perceived technology pedagogical usefulness. A sample of 243 K-12’ school-teachers of multiple scientific domains, from eight Azorean Islands answered an online survey, including three free-word association tests using inductive terms such as ‘internet’, ‘biodiversity’ and ‘familiar biodiversity portals’. Overall, they failed to incorporate the multidimensionality of the biodiversity concept (including natural science teachers), or show technological fluency, and tended not to use biodiversity web portals as tools to engage students in teaching activities. Our results indicate that teachers’ perspectives about biodiversity need to be broadened and improved, and that it is worth exploring whether ICT represents a window of opportunity to do so. As an example, biodiversity web portals, widely recognized as trustworthy information repositories, may be used to engage teachers in this endeavour.

Thursday, October 8, 2020, at 12h00-13h00 (Lisbon, Portugal time)

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