A connectivist approach to understanding digital inequity in virtual and augmented environmental education

Authors: Micheal Jerowsky*, University of British Columbia
Topics: Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: environmental education, virtual reality, augmented reality, digital inequity, connectivism
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 46
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This paper engages with connectivist perspectives within the field of environmental education where teachers and students are increasingly turning to virtual and augmented reality. These emerging media are transforming and challenging the traditional space of the classroom by allowing for a more seamless integration of broader, online learning communities, which can result in sharing, dialogue, and collaboration at unprecedented scales. I ask how broader learning networks of peers and more knowledgeable others can be developed and integrated with these media to challenge dominant or mainstream approaches to environmental education. I discuss the prospect of integrating media being developed by individuals and communities whose perspectives have traditionally been backgrounded in the field of environmental education due to broader systems of oppression surrounding settler-colonialism, race, ability, and socioeconomic class. How might the integration of diverse, online learner-networks within virtual and augmented educational media help to address such inequity? I reflect on this question as a queer, white researcher who is developing virtual and augmented environmental education learning modules of Camosun Bog. Camosun bog is situated within Pacific Spirit Regional Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and is the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people.

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