Mountain Explorers is an interactive online platform which can be accessed through the creation of an online account. This can be done either through collective access (by the teachers with one account per class) or through individual access (by individual students at home with their parents).

Each account has its own Green Passport that is filled with a stamp every time a game or activity in the platform is carried out in full. The passport is a virtual travel document that incentivizes the class/student to commit and engage into collecting all the virtual stamps.

It is downloadable and printable at the end of the Mountain Explorers’ journey or when school year is finished as a souvenir and it shows the completion of the themes and activities explored by each class/student during the journey.

Following their initial registration and login, every class/student will have access to the Virtual Map containing the following themes which represent one of the main essential resources that our mountains provide us with:

Each theme can be explored independently so no specific order is required. When clicking on one theme, the platform is redirected to the theme page with the following options:

1. The Intro Animation

Each theme starts with a short 1-2 minute introductory animation that gives a brief overview of the basic components of the topic. It also explains the main challenges facing the natural resource in terms of environmental degradation. Once viewed, each intro animation is worth a stamp on the virtual green passport.

2. The Online Game

By hitting “Play the Game,” each theme can be explored through a virtual game that allows the player(s) to discover and understand the theme further. The game highlights the problems facing the various mountain resources and suggests solutions to them. The solutions to the game are usually found as multiple choice answers or as drag & drop actions (mainly from the Tools & Solutions box on the upper left side of the screen). Each game ends when all its solutions are found and is worth a virtual stamp on the green passport.

3. The Extra Curricular Activities

Each theme has practical activities to be prepared by the teacher and undertaken by the class. These activities use the experiential learning approach which allows the students to apply the knowledge gained in the virtual game with the help of the teacher and to explore each resource further in a hands-on, creative way.
There are between 3 to 4 activities per theme, downloadable as PDF and printable. When completed and approved by the teacher, each activity is worth a stamp on the green passport.

Additionally, teachers and parents will benefit from the following support to enable them to work through each theme with the kids:

1. The Teachers’ Guides

The aim of the Teachers’ Guide is to provide the teacher/parent with sufficient background information about every theme in order to enhance their understanding of each mountain resource as well as to facilitate dialogue and debate between the students. Information on every theme is available in a downloadable and printable PDF format.

2. The Additional Resources

Additional resources to be used by teachers or parents are to be found in a separate tab on the platform.They serve as a supporting section to the seven themes covered by Mountain Explorers and contain documentaries, studies, articles, reports and interesting animations.

These provide further information on each theme and some can be shown to the students.

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Interactive learning is the key:

Through indirect identification with the players Yasmine and Jad, Mountain Explorers sets out to immerse students in the natural,outdoor mountain environment by means of our little explorersand their interactions with Na7lati, the Mascot.

Problem-solving, critical-thinking, and cooperative learning will be enhanced by the useof these virtual activities as a newteaching aid. Online tools are complemented by essential hands-on learning activities which allow the kids to find solutions to real life challengesthrough direct interaction. The main purpose of this approach is to make the real world theirown learning environment.

How to apply interactive learning:

To be as effective as possible, schools and learning institutions are encouraged toallow the usage of individual computers and/or other similar types of technology (laptop, iPad, etc.) by each student if available.

Below are three suggestions for the optimal usage of the Mountain Explorers’platform, in order of preference:

  • Scenario 1: Usage of individual computers and/or laptops, iPads etc. with an internet connection for each student in the classroom. The teacher asks one kid after the other to answer each step of the game, and validates the answer with the rest of the class with additional explanations whenever needed.
  • Scenario 2:Multiple PC monitors and/or laptops with groups of students usingone computer each (ideally no more than 5 students per computer). The teacher asks one kid after the other to answer each step of the game, and validates the answer with the rest of the class with additional explanations whenever needed.
  • Scenario 3: When there is only one computer with a screen projector, the class should be divided into groups of 5 students each. Each group takes a turn in solving one section of a virtual game using the computer and justifying their responsesto the rest of the class. The interaction between the students and their classmates will help create a debate during whichdifferent topics can be discussed as they come up.
The role of the teacher/parent is to act both as a moderator and a discussion/debate facilitator. They should move the discussions in the right direction and validate correct answers/solutions, providing additional explanations whenever needed.

It’s very important for the teacher/parent to leave room for the kids to interact with the game as well as each other and to discuss and find the solutions by themselves.The idea is to move away from the traditional approach of providing explanations first while the kids sit and listen passively.

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