What is TeachLive?
TeachLive is an innovative educational tool that places teachers on Earthwatch research projects, where they receive a unique professional development experience and get to teach ‘live’ back to their classrooms via the TeachLive website.
Students are able to take a virtual expedition with their teachers helping them to engage in science in an Australian and global context and see their teachers as science role models.
What will teachers learn?
The interactive nature of the program is an excellent opportunity for teachers to improve their web-based teaching skills, learn current scientific research techniques, work in a team with other teachers and learn more about the unique environments of the world.
“Both my students and I now have a far greater understanding of the processes of scientific research and the benefits that research brings to local and global communities. Not only did I get to learn about and embrace a unique part of the world, but my students did also, and that is a very powerful and enriching experience for me as a teacher.” 2009 TeachLive Teacher, Melbourne, VIC
What do students get out of TeachLive?
TeachLive is a great introduction to the way innovative technologies can motivate students. Students experience what is involved in scientific research increasing their curiosity and enthusiasm for science.
It shows students areas of Australia and the rest of the world they may have never seen before, provides them with a new perspective on scientific research and exposes them to positive career opportunities.
“To be able to do the hands on in situation research tasks were invaluable for passing onto students. To be able to walk the walk helps to better impart authentic learning to the students. The students were engaged by being able to communicate through the interactive forum - even those who normally showed little interest in class. Many of them took the opportunity to communicate from their home computers as well as those in their classroom, and not only for the duration of the expedition iteslf but for weeks after with students continuing to find information and bring in things they had learned from home.” 2009 TeachLive Teacher, Badgingarra, WA
The history of TeachLive
TeachLive began with a pilot program in 2004 that sent four Victorian teachers on Earthwatch projects across Australia. In 2005 the TeachLive program expanded, allowing seven teachers from Western Australia to join the Echidnas and Goannas of Kangaroo Island research expedition.
From 2007 – 2009, through the support of Woodside Energy, the TeachLive program gave teachers from Western Australia the once in a lifetime opportunity to teach live to their students as they studied the whale sharks of Ningaloo Reef.
In 2009 Victoria Electricity sent one Victorian teacher on the Wildlife of Brazil’s Pantanal expedition in South America to teach live back to her classroom and raise environmental awareness among her students, and in 2010 Lumo Energy sent a Victorian teacher to Queensland to teach live from Earthwatch’s Project Manta expedition.
In 2011, with funding from the Victorian government, five teachers from Victorian State Government Schools joined scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences to help support climate change research in Eastern China’s steamy Zhejiang Province, while five other Victorian teachers joined scientists from Edith Cowan University to help protect the native animals of Charles Darwin Reserve in the Western Australian outback, followed by ten more teachers who travelled to Charles Darwin Reserve to teach live back to their students in 2012.
In 2013 the TeachLive expanded with the launch of Bush Blitz TeachLive. Bush Blitz is Australia's largest nature discovery project - a multimillion dollar partnership to document the plants and animals in properties across Australia – and so far fifteen teachers have had the opportunity to join a Bush Blitz survey, with teacher teams accompanying expeditions to locations such as the Northern Territory Outback, Tasmania's Bruny Island, the Coral Sea and Cape York. Click here to find out more about the Bush Blitz TeachLive program, and to see blogs and photos posted by teachers participating in Bush Blitz expeditions.
In 2015 an exciting new phase of the program began, with the Victorian Department of Education and Training providing funding for six Victorian teachers a year to participate in Earthwatch's Snorkelling Australia's Underwater Meadows expedition, from 2015 to 2017. To find out more about the Department and other programs on offer go to http://www.education.vic.gov.au.
In 2016 Earthwatch will be launching another TeachLive project, with six teachers from New South Wales and the ACT travelling to St Bee's Island in north Queensland to participate in the Australia's Changing Islands Earthwatch expedition. Each teacher will then apply their new skills and knowledge on a citizen science project conducted in partnership with local land managers, providing them with scientific data that will help them protect species and ecosystems.
How can I get involved?
Applications for the 2017 Snorkel for Queensland's Marine Mammals TeachLive expedition opportunity are now open, and close on 15th March 2017. Click here for more information, or to apply.
Applications for the February 2016 Bush Blitz TeachLive expedition to Tasmania are also opening soon.
Click here to fill in an Expression of Interest form, so that we know to contact you when applications open.