DISCOVERY TRAIL project allows different experts to work together in order to achieve better understanding about how digital outdoor learning tool Avastusrada can be best used to support students ́ conceptual change in different aspects of biodiversity. This supports bridging the gap between formal education and nonformal learning.
Activities that will be implemented to reach planned results can be divided into different sections.
(a) Developmental work with the digital outdoor learning platform will be guided by Tallinn University and there are several data collections points where input is collected from different target groups. First, trails are analysed by different partners in the kick-off meeting to understand better the starting point and take user perspective. Second, teachers and non-formal education specialists from science centres are asked to create paths in Avastusrada platform to get feedback about the user experiences. Third, students are using the platform during their learning process and feedback will be collected from the students perspective.
(b) Conceptual change perspective is used to create educational trails related to biodiversity concepts that can be used together with other methods during the learning process. These trails are created through collaborative work between different experts, presented in seminars to get feedback and then tested to assess their effectiveness in supporting the conceptual change process. A team from Finland (Helsinki University) who has a long experience of supporting the collaboration between teachers and non-formal education specialists will lead the process towards pre-created trails under the Avastusrada platform that can be further used in every country.
(c) Teacher training events with different scopes are organized through the project guided by Ellinogermaniki Agogi school in Greece. Based on these experiences a blueprint of how to plan similar training to support the use of Avastusrada is created. First teacher training is for the pilot group teachers and non-formal education specialists who are starting to use the platform with their students. In the training event Avastusrada platform is introduced and guided seminars allow to plan specific interventions where digital outdoor learning tools are used in an integrated way to the overall learning process. Teachers are asked to join from different fields and thus climate change topics (more specifically biodiversity) are covered as key competence. Second teacher training is for introducing created Avastusrada paths that intend to change understanding about biodiversity and teachers are asked in seminars to use Avastusrada for creating new paths that will be together analysed in a perspective of conceptual change.
(e) Manual (whitepaper) for teachers and non-formal education specialists is created in the second part of the project led by NaturErlebnisPark – Science Education Center in Austria. This allows us to share experiences with other teachers who are planning to use Avastusrada with students of different ages, but also how to address climate change topics integratedly into different subjects and how to support collaborative work between teachers and non-formal education specialists. Moreover transnational project meetings are planned to better support the work during the project, but also scheduled web meetings are held to share the progress in the project. Visionary Events are planned before the teacher training to widen the scope of the project and multiplier events in every country will finish the project and help to share the results with a wider audience.
During the project two international teacher training events are held that support the use of Avastusrada platformi in the learning process about biodiversity. Several visionary events are held for the teachers community in every country to introduce the idea and find participants to teacher training events. Multiplier events are held in every country to introduce the results of the project. After the DISCOVERY TRAIL project has ended it has several results that overall contribute to the better understanding of the factors related to climate change by all the target groups (teachers, non-formal education specialists and students). After the project Avastusrada platform will be more user friendly and has a potential to be used all over Europe in 6 different languages. Avastusrada has at least 8 different trails related to biodiversity topics that are piloted, validated and translated to different languages. Two international teacher training events are held that support the use of Avastusrada during the learning process about biodiversity and support the further collaborative work between teachers and no-nformal education specialists. Manual (white paper) is published that allows us to share project experiences of using and developing Avastusrada as a learning platform to support students’ understanding about biodiversity and how to organize the cooperation between teachers and non-formal education specialists to achieve more effective learning experience.