UAE: New e-learning tool to increase environmental awareness

It is the first and collaborative educational platform exclusively dedicated to the environmental sector in the Middle East



Supplied photos
Supplied photos
by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Wed 12 Oct 2022, 1:31 PM

Last updated: Wed 12 Oct 2022, 3:16 PM

A digital environmental educational platform has been launched in Abu Dhabi to increase environmental knowledge and awareness among students and educators.

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) launched the e-Green platform on Wednesday.

It is the first collaborative e-learning tool exclusively dedicated to the environmental sector in the Middle East, launched with the vision of creating a leading e–learning tool.

The e-Green tool is free to use for everybody, and aims to increase environmental knowledge and awareness, with a specific focus on the environment and conservation in Abu Dhabi.

In its first phase, e-Green was launched for schools, and features content that will be beneficial to students, educators and environmental experts. In 2023 the platform will be ready for its public launch and will be available for everyone to use. It will also enable local, regional and international organisations to upload their content and educational courses.

There are currently eight learning paths available for schools. The first topic is the Sustainable Schools Initiative (SSI) which is sponsored by BP, an EAD-led programme which encourages schools to become more environmentally friendly. It was launched in 2009 and has 153 participating schools in Abu Dhabi. The SSI topic has six learning paths which include: Eco-clubs, Green Audit, Outdoor Education, Primary, Intermediate, and Advanced.

For the second topic – Biodiversity - there are two paths: Geography of Abu Dhabi and Marine Vertebrates. It is supported by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). In total there are 53 available courses, with 42 focused on SSI. The SSI courses will help encourage schools to become members of the initiative as they will be well trained. There are 11 courses covering the biodiversity path.

The courses were developed following best international practices for e-learning material development and optimised to guarantee the most efficient user experience. The courses are taught by experts from EAD, Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), Emirates Nature - WWF, AZRAQ, and other key opinion leaders.

Once a user completes a full learning path, they receive a certificate. The certificate is available on the profile section on the website, and can be shared on social media, or printed out. e-Green will issue the certificate automatically only once all courses of a learning path are completed – for this purpose it was developed with a tailor-made video player that recognises whether a video has been fully watched. Furthermore, e-Green includes state-of-the-art ‘special needs’ features as well as features for colour blind students.

Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, secretary-general of EAD said: “e-Green is a cutting-edge e-learning platform, launched with the goal of becoming the predominant global reference for environmental e-learning. At this phase we are targeting schools, and, in the future, leading environmental institutions, universities, and international corporate organisations will be able to develop their own content as per EAD guidelines and upload it to the platform.”

She added: “Recent developments have contributed to the emergence of e-learning platforms, especially with the acceleration in the field of advanced and innovative technologies. It has become necessary for everyone to adhere to a new lifestyle, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, which contributed to reliance on electronic curricula and educational programmes globally. In 2021, 92 million people studied online, and we at EAD would like to ride this wave in a bid to facilitate environmental knowledge in a format that is easy, efficient and user-friendly.”

She elaborated: “The environment is a leading global topic and upcoming generations have become well-versed in it, and through a tool such as e-Green, they will be able to access scientific and well researched information to enhance their knowledge. The courses are in video format with supporting graphics, making them more appealing to young people, who prefer visuals to written or spoken content. This means we can attract the largest possible number of students to e-Green to help enhance their access to information about the environment so they can become future leaders advocating for positive change to save our planet.”

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