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Frontpage News 2015 Increasing interest in climate change

Students taking part in climate change education in Portugal.
Students in Portugal using digital technology to learn about the effects of climate change. Photo: Clima@EduMedia

Increasing interest in climate change

How do you get students more interested in learning about climate change? Portuguese teachers are using video, pictures and social media when teaching this important topic.

“We are living in the digital age, so if we don't give students what they are good at, we can forget about their involvement. If we want pupils to learn about and act on climate change we have to motivate them,” says Carla Machado, a teacher from the Vieira de Araújo School Group, in Vieira do Minho in Portugal. She is one of many primary and secondary school teachers in Portugal who are now learning how to use digital media when teaching climate change.

José Bastos, a teacher from the Cister School Group, in Alcobaça, agrees:
“The use of video resources, pictures and social networks in teaching climate change is a more effective and interactive way of learning. Today's students are by default digital natives. The use of digital media increases their interest in learning. When a student sees a video on climate change it creates greater interest than if the same content is on paper.”

Teaching teachers
The University of Oporto in Portugal has created a open online course which allows teachers to learn more about how to teach climate change using digital media in the classroom. The course was opened this September, is free and can be used by anyone anywhere. The aim of the course is to provide teachers with new tools to more effectively communicate the changes that are happening to the climate and its causes, impacts and possible solutions in a language familiar to the students.

The course is a part the project Clima@EduMedia funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants. The University of Iceland is a partner in the project. They contribute among other things with experience from Iceland in engaging young people to be interested in environmental knowledge.

As part of the Clima@EduMedia project, around 540 secondary school students from 30 schools have also already produced media content on climate change. The project will also launch a national competition for the best climate change adaptation and mitigation ideas developed by students.

Read more about the project Clima@EduMedia

Read more about the Programme Adapt – Adapting Portugal to Climate Change under which this project is funded