Conservation education is the study of humans’ intelligent use of their natural environment through the development, management, preservation, and renewal of natural resources for material, cultural, and aesthetic needs to benefit present and future generations. Conservation education hopes to positively influence people’s attitudes, emotions, knowledge, and behaviors about wildlife and wild places. This is done through the efforts of skilled educators, who use a variety of techniques, methods, and assessments to connect and reconnect people with the natural world.
I value students as their own person who learn, explore and work in very unique ways from every other student. This resource allows teachers to provide personalized instruction for students that is high quality and paired with the latest technology. As a former classroom teacher and a provider of professional development, the fact that this resource is free and covers numerous topics in math, science, English, social studies is a huge asset, not to mention their content is available in multiple languages, including Spanish and Chinese.
Guidelines: Instructional soundness, Usability
Dawn Publications is my go-to publisher when I write content or provide recommendations when it relates to concepts in life science, such as life cycles, climate change, ecosystem services, and wildlife. I used their books when I was a classroom teacher and now I write them into lessons and activities and share them when providing virtual and in-person professional development.
Guidelines: Depth, Fairness and accuracy, Instructional soundness, Usability
This is an outstanding resource because it gets students DOING science. The GLOBE Program provides students with multiple opportunities to engage in the scientific process, interact with scientists, participate in data collection campaigns that support current research, and participate in in-person and virtual experiences that build student confidence in science, regardless of whether or not their end goal is to become a scientist. I also appreciate the holistic, systems thinking approach to looking at the Earth as a system made up of multiple, smaller systems. The collective learning informs students’ understanding of topics such as climate change and public health.
Guidelines: Depth, Emphasis on skills building
Besides their numerous Parents’ Choice Gold medals and recognitions from the Association of American Publishers, Ranger Rick is an icon representing the awe and wonder children have around wildlife and the natural world. The science, storytelling, probing questions, and fun features help inspire our future generations to protect wildlife and conserve habitat. The educator guide is a quick go-to resource that extends the learning opportunity beyond its literary benefits.
Guidelines: Action orientation, Depth, Fairness and accuracy, Usability
Eco-Schools USA is the world’s largest comprehensive green schools program, with involvement from organizations all over the world. Collectively, those schools support millions of teachers and students a year. In the United States, Eco-Schools is run by the National Wildlife Federation. Their Virtual Classroom Resources provide multiple ways for students to learn more about wildlife and wildlife habitat, allowing students to choose a resource that personally excites them about learning, whether by reading and taking action, being inspired while listening to a scientist speak about research in the Antarctic, or learning more about wildlife and habitat through art.
Guidelines: Action orientation, Depth, Emphasis on skills building, Instructional soundness