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Through participation in Ocean School, OFI supports the development and delivery of resources and programs to advance ocean literacy. Ocean School combines leading edge audio-visual and teaching technologies with forward-thinking approaches to create compelling and integrated learning experiences.

About Ocean School

Ocean School is a ground-breaking educational and public engagement program to foster ocean literacy: our understanding of the ocean's influence on us and our influence on the ocean. A joint initiative of Dalhousie University and the National Film Board of Canada, Ocean School’s programming focuses on ocean science, technology and innovation while also providing insight into marine careers and the social, economic and cultural dimensions of the human relationship with the ocean. The Ocean School team also works with regional, national and international thought leaders and organizations to improve coordination, resource sharing and collaboration among the ocean literacy community in Canada and abroad.    

Learning that's fun! With science and research at the core of its materials, Ocean School develops literacy exhibits, online and classroom-based learning resources, social media-driven dialogue, and other activities that illustrate the complex relationship between humans and the ocean. Learning tools include short films, digital games and 360-degree ‘immersive’ ocean experiences using head-mounted virtual reality displays and tablets. Learn more … 

Surf's up! Ocean School's Sonya Lee visited with sixth grade students at Duc d'Anville school in Halifax for a North Atlantic right whale-of-a-tale visit. CBC's Mainstreet reported on the children's very creative (and poetic!) reactions. Listen now ...

Ocean School Learning (OSL) 

Ocean School Learning (OSL) is an inquiry-based, educational program distributed online that creates and integrates short videos, immersive virtual reality experiences, educational gaming and multi-media learner resources to connect learners to the ocean in a meaningful way. Developed in response to the growing need for inquiry-based educational resources and teaching support related to oceans topics, the program's objectives are to:  

  1. Contribute to an ocean literate citizenry around the world;
  2. Foster critical thinking and problem-solving skills by using innovative educational approaches and the scientific method;
  3. Utilize emerging technologies to increase learner and teacher engagement in global competencies.   

The program follows scientists and subject matter experts from academia, government, industry, NGO, Indigenous and community sectors as they work to answer some of Canada’s most pressing questions about the ocean. Science education is the central focus of OSL, however, the program also aims to provide information about the social, economic, and cultural dimension of the human relationship with the ocean, including content that highlights ocean-related careers as well as Indigenous culture and knowledge related to the ocean.

Although OSL is designed for use in classrooms among youth aged 11-15, the content is accessible and engaging to younger and older audiences both inside and outside of the classroom. Like all Ocean School materials, OSL will be made available to the public online, and free of charge, in English and French (the team plans to add additional languages in the future).

The initial vision for OSL is to feature six educational modules:

  1. North Atlantic Ocean
  2. North Pacific Ocean
  3. Arctic Ocean
  4. Great Lakes/ St.Lawrence
  5. Open Ocean
  6. Tropical seas

Each module will have its own educational themes and will feature enough content to fill at least nine standard class periods, although this can be expanded or condensed as a result of the program’s modular design and inquiry-based pedagogical approach.   

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