The GEO-Academy project is officially on air!
The project partners met on 28-29 September in Athens, at Ellinogermaniki Agogi premises, kick-starting the project activities. The scope of the project, which will be implemented within a period of three years until May 2026, is the creation of a joint European network and a community of practice providing teachers, both already active (in-service) and those graduating in the future (pre-service), opportunities for professional learning on sustainable development using innovative digital technologies and learning methodologies. On the basis of specific geo-concepts, GEO-Academy will develop a repository of cutting-edge geo-technologies (ex. Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing (RS) and Earth Observation (EO), Geospatial Storytelling), training materials and competence-based educational pedagogies that will be freely accessible to all through an e-learning platform developed in 7 languages. The material will then be adapted to the national curricula, with the ultimate goal of fostering teachers’ digital, green and spatial skills, while holistically educating the next generation of European citizens on Sustainable Development topics. Teachers will have a pivotal role throughout the whole process, acting reflectively both as trainees and co-designers. During its lifecycle, GΕΟ-Academy will also usher the activities through online, physical and blended training across Europe.
The GEO-Academy network consists of 12 key partners from 7 EU countries and experts from complementary backgrounds (geoscientists, environmental and education science experts, research organizations and educational institutions), namely: National Technical University of Athens (Greece), Lund University (Sweden), Eurisy (non-profit association of European space agencies- France), Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, European University Cyprus, Pedagogical University Tyrol (Austria), University of Coimbra (Portugal), Austrian Space Forum, Ellinogermaniki Agogi (private school- Greece), Spotin-Spotlight on Innovation (non-profit organization of learning innovation- Greece), NUCLIO-Núcleo Interactivo de Astronomia (Portugal), Association “Professional Forum for Education” (Bulgaria).
During their kick-off meeting in Athens, the partners have set the common grounds for the projects’ key activities and deliverables, concerning, among others: the mapping of the available geo-tools and educational resources, the development of a common pedagogical model based on teachers’ training needs and the creation of the “GEO-OBSERVE” platform, which be one of the project’s principal outcomes, acting as the core common hub and central “meeting point” where all national and project-level outputs will be uploaded and aggregated. The partners have also highlighted the high importance of the project’s outreach to all interested stakeholders, building a large learning community of “geo-innovators” and active citizens wishing to foster their knowledge and contribution to Environmental and Sustainable topics.