Website teaches kids all about oceans

Ocean School uses compelling storytelling and interactive media to motivate kids to learn all about how oceans impact our world

No matter what your child’s schooling looks like this September, it’s alway good to come upon fun and free ways to entertain and educate our kids.

Ocean School is a unique, educational experience that uses compelling storytelling and interactive media to motivate kids to learn all about oceans.

Geared to students and educators, it was created in partnership with Dalhousie University, The National Film Board of Canada, and Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation.

Ocean literacy involves learning about the important role the ocean plays in our ecosystem. Although oceans cover more than 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface, many people don’t know about the importance of their biodiversity.

“The ocean impacts everything we do inland,” says Ocean School educator Erika Sullivan. “Our ocean and land are so intertwined and connected. The more we learn about the ocean, the better off we’ll be.”

After all, learning about the ocean helps us make responsible and informed decisions that will protect the ocean, marine life, food diversity, coastal communities, and more.

Although the content is geared towards students ages 11 to 15, kids and life-long learners of all ages can use different modules to better understand various aspects of the oceans.

The website is designed with inquiry-based learning in mind. This approach emphasizes the child’s role in the learning process and encourages kids to explore the material based on their passions and preferred learning styles. Here you’ll find a library of  360° videos, interviews with scientists, augmented and virtual-reality media, and prompts that help bridge the gap between the ocean and our education system’s curriculum.

The content is in English and French, with some materials in Spanish. Lessons include everything from science and technology to social science and math. One module called Harvest was developed and validated by Haízaqv, a group of indigenous people who are experts in the ecosystem of British Columbia’s Central Coast.

“We found it was perfect for distance-based learning because educators can teach the same topics to the whole class but can easily use the site’s materials to customize a student’s learning experience,” Sullivan explains. For example, teachers can give advanced readers additional material or can suggest videos for kids who are more audio-visual learners.

Ocean School is compatible with Google Classrooms, but can also be easily incorporated into an educator’s curriculum or navigated by parents. There is also a special section of the website with lesson plans for parents who homeschool or want to facilitate extra science activities for their children.

For more, visit oceanschool.nfb.ca.