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Title: The role of digital libraries in learning about environmental identity through solving geographical problems
Authors: Hedberg, John G.
Chang, Chew Hung
Lim, Ee Peng
Teh, Tiong Sa
Goh, Dion Hoe Lian
Theng, Yin Leng
Issue Date: Mar-2004
Citation: Paper presented at the international Council for Educational Media Conference, Vienna, Austria, 2004.
Abstract: Environmental identity or how we orient ourselves to the natural world, leads us to personalize abstract global issues and take action (or not) according to our sense of who we are. Indeed, the often emotional nature of environmental conflicts can be associated with our sense of personal and social identity. Are we willing to give up our SUV for a more fuel-efficient car albeit our knowledge about the enhanced greenhouse effect? (Clayton and Opotow, 2003). In an era where web-based student-centred inquiry is gaining popularity as a mode of teaching and learning about environmental issues and potentially developing students’ environmental identities, the role of digital libraries as delivery trucks (terminology by Clark, 1983) needs to be understood better. An obvious affordance of such a digital library is that it organizes information around themes for problems to be solved. A developmental project to build a first digital library for Geographical assets was undertaken. This digital library (G-Portal) serves an active role in a collaborative learning activity in which the students conduct a field study of an environmental problem, within a geospatial context – in this case, beach erosion and sea level rise. G-Portal not only functions as a digital library of information resources, it also provides manipulation and analytical tools that can be used on the information provided. The concept of personal project space allows individuals to work in their personalized environment with a mix of private and public data and at the same time share part of the data with their team members. This allows students to explore the information, process the information, solve the problem posed and perhaps even form new understandings and reflections of their role in the natural environment.
Project number: CRP 39/03 CCH
Appears in Collections:CRPP - Conference Papers

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