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New website makes it easy for everyone to learn about the ocean

It has never been easier to find relevant teaching materials about the ocean than it is now. Through a fruitful collaboration with AU IT, the project 'The Head in the Ocean' has developed a new website, where students and teachers at educational institutions easily can navigate through all the teaching materials about the ocean that are available in Denmark. The portal is called The Ocean in School- www.havetiskolen.dk

The front page of the ' The Sea in School ' sets the mood for all the exciting material found about the ocean. Here you can filter the material so that you find what you are looking for according to the course and the right target group.
The filters provide easy access to finding relevant material. Here, for example, the search is intended for biology teaching in grades 4 and 5.
On the map of Denmark, teachers and students have access to marine data from all over the country as well as access to assignments and manuals to conduct their own measurements in the field.

It has been a long, but fruitful journey. Together with biologists from the project The Head in the Ocean, students and staff at AU IT have navigated around many pitfalls and set the course for a new product that provides easy access to all the teaching materials made available online by Danish maritime education institutions.

This has resulted in an attractive and very useful website, where users easily and simply can conduct a search according to specific needs.

More than 20 partners

The project 'The Head in the Ocean' has visited a lot of schools all over the country and talked to a lot of teachers and student teachers. Unfortunately, we do not have a tradition of teaching about life in the ocean in Denmark, even though none of us lives more than 50 kilometres from the ocean.

"The teachers simply lack good and easy access to good materials about the ocean. They don't have time to surf around on many different websites," says Morten Rud, who is responsible for completing the platform 'The Ocean in School'.

The site currently offers 90 courses, 130 activities and 30 videos from more than 20 different partners – for example, all Danish aquariums.

"The project started as a development project in which students from AU IT started to build the site without fully knowing the scope of the project. Subsequently, our employees Anders Fagerland Krogsager and Vahid Baluch have completed the project," says team leader Martin Smith from AU IT.

Students can work with real data

In addition to the many courses and activities focusing on marine biology, AU IT has developed a brand new map with data points from all over Denmark. The data points come from the Danish environmental portal (Danmarks Miljøportal) and include measurements with salt, temperature, oxygen and nitrogen from all over Denmark.

"We want to make it easy for students and teachers to work with data from the real monitoring programme. The large amount of data on the page can easily be sorted so that users quickly can find areas with layers of thermoclines (layering of the water column) or compare parameters between a summer and winter season. Here, you can see that the theories work in practice," says Morten Rud.

Both AU IT and project 'The Head in the Ocean' are very satisfied with the results of their joint efforts, and fortunately the site has been well received all over the country.

The project The Head in the Ocean is supported by the Nordea Foundation, and the grant expires on 1 August 2023. But the future of the platform 'The Ocean in School ' has been secured, as during the spring, the platform is being incorporated into 'The Forest in School' (https://www.skoven-i-skolen.dk/), which is currently undergoing a major renovation. 'The Forest in School' has more than 1 million hits a year, and it is expected that the newly renovated site will have even more visits as it now also deals with marine material.

Explore ' The Ocean in School ': www.havetiskolen.dk

Further information about the site:

  • Project officer Morten Rud, Department of Biology; Email: mr@bio.au.dk; tel.: 2674 7108
  • Team leader, Martin Smith, AU IT – development; Email: martin.smith@au.dk; tel.: 9352 1866