“We are developing teaching tools that will engage technology savvy learners in schools today, aiming to provide greater visibility of our ultimate renewable forest and wood industry in classrooms”
According to ForestLearning Program Manager Beth Welden, the answer increasingly lies in the realms of ‘virtual reality.’
Presenting to delegates at the Australian Forest Education Alliance in Canberra, Beth Welden briefed participants on current Forest Learning activities as well as exploring learning tools and teacher aids currently under development.
“As it stands, ForestLearning interacts with thousands of teachers and students each year with all of our content being aligned with the Australian Curriculum – essential for teachers with a crowded curriculum.”
“However our challenge is to now take aids and tools that have been developed in the first and second dimension, to take them into the third dimension.”
“Through Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) we can take the forests to the classrooms, these technologies are all around us, it’s about using technologies to the best of our ability to engage with and educate the next generation of foresters, timber and wood based enthusiasts.”
“We have an amazing story to tell, we hope to engage with industry partners to develop tools and aids that will be used in Australian schools,” Ms Welden said.
Representing Responsible Wood, Australia’s largest certification scheme for forests, timber and timber-based products, Jason Ross suggested that new age learning tools is an important step to educate the next generation of consumers.
“Connecting with audiences on an emotional level is critical, our industry is so vast, where would we be without timber and forests?”
“Responsible Wood features in more than 2500 teacher’s packs distributed Australia-wide, certification plays such an important role in ensuring that forests meet Australian standards for environment and social license.”
“We would love nothing more than for our certified foresters to feature in Australian schools, look out for the Responsible Wood ‘trust mark’ when you next source timber or paper,” Mr Ross said.
VR technology is increasingly be used more and more by the timber industry to showcase the industry.
Featured as part of the Forest Tech conference in Melbourne, ‘Virtual Forests’ is a ‘Virtual Tour’ of a Laminated Veneer Lumber manufacturing plant in Finland.
Certified to PEFC (Responsible Wood), ‘Virtual Forests’ was developed by the Metsa Group, Tieto and CTRL Reality to showcase the Metsa Group’s Laminated Veneer Lumber manufacturing plant in a highly interactive way.