Canadian Geographic Education launches online initiative to reach self-isolating students

COVID-19 Online First

In response to a need for online educational resources, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) is launching Canadian Geographic Education’s #OnlineClassroom, which will offer its free, bilingual learning tools to all Canadians to support teachers, parents and students isolating at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Our new #OnlineClassroom provides Can Geo Education with a great opportunity to reach more students, parents, teachers and everyone else through dynamic resources that educate and entertain at the same time,” says John Geiger, CEO of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

The #OnlineClassroom is starting off with a bang by launching The Anthropocene Education program, which will take students on adventures through augmented and virtual reality. Geared toward grades 4 to 12, this initiative develops student’s understandings of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges, such as plastic waste issues, species extinction and climate change.

Can Geo Education partnered with The Anthropocene Project , an internationally celebrated Canadian project created by renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky and award-winning filmmakers Nicholas de Pencier and Jennifer Baichwal. This multimedia project explains the emergence of the Anthropocene epoch, distinguished by human-caused changes to our planet.

“As students begin to navigate a virtual learning environment in response to the COVID-19 crisis, we are excited by the possibilities for the Anthropocene Education program to enable a continuation of studies of important global topics,” says de Pencier. “We hope that the photographs, videos and new media included in the program will offer a window onto the world at a time when we need to catalyze awareness of our global village in ways that inspire positive change.”

Students need a smart phone or tablet to explore a 3D model of Big Lonely Doug, a 1,000-year-old Douglas fir in a clear-cut forest in British Columbia, or to learn about issues such as urbanization in Lagos, Nigeria, or resource extraction in Italy’s marble quarries. And students can also watch 360-degree virtual reality films online or download them to a VR headset. All these resources, and many more, include lesson plans.

Can Geo Education, the educational arm of the RCGS, supports a network of more than 23,500 educators in more than 600 elementary and secondary schools across the country, offering Kindergarten to Grade 12 curriculum-compliant classroom resources for subjects such as outdoor learning, social sciences, geography, environmental science and more. 

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