Press Release: October 2016

EMB Sea change Increasing ocean literacy 3

A free online course entitled “From ABC to ABSeas: Ocean Literacy for all”, led by Sea Change partner UNESCO and its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO), will empower second-level teachers and marine educators to give students a greater understanding of the importance of the ocean. The course will be available, on the European Multiple MOOC Aggregator (EMMA), from 7 November 2016 in the following languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian and Catalan.

Many European citizens are not aware of the ocean’s influence on us and our influence on the ocean. In other words, many of us lack a sense of “Ocean Literacy”. This clearly presents a barrier for citizens to engage in ocean-responsible behaviour or consider ocean-related careers. Experienced educators, tutors, professors and researchers from the EU Horizon 2020-funded Sea Change project have developed this novel Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) with the aim to create a deeper understanding amongst European citizens of how their health depends on the health of our seas and ocean.

Course developer and instructor Dr Francesca Santoro from IOC-UNESCO said: “The ocean plays a fundamental role in the health of our planet and of human beings. We need to become aware of its importance to be able to act as responsible citizens. This Ocean Literacy MOOC will take you on a journey to understand the ocean and how we can behave responsibly to enjoy its full potential.”

The course will provide support and advice for teachers and educators to incorporate the Ocean Literacy into educational programmes, sharing activities and lesson plans developed by experts in the field of Marine Education. Upon successful completion of the course, participants will be able to take the Ocean Literacy principles and concepts into the classroom using a range of innovative educational approaches. They will be able to suggest engagement and exploratory learning to their students, as well as develop enquiry-based activities with an interdisciplinary context.

“This MOOC will allow you to be part of a dynamic group of teachers, marine scientists and educators from all around Europe, and beyond. You will have the chance to learn about Ocean Literacy and innovative teaching methods, and share your experiences and approaches with colleagues”, said Dr Santoro.

The ultimate goal of this educational resource is to equip teachers with the tools to encourage their students to make informed and responsible decisions regarding the ocean and its resources. It will be available for four weeks, from 7 November - 5 December 2016. A certificate of participation will be issued to all those that complete at least 70% of the course activities.

For more information on the MOOC or to register see:

 MOOC leaflet

Sea Change Resources

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About the Project

Sea Change is an EU H2020 funded project that aims to establish a fundamental “Sea Change” in the way European citizens view their relationship with the sea, by empowering them, as Ocean Literate citizens, to take direct and sustainable action towards a healthy ocean, healthy communities and ultimately a healthy planet.

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Our Ocean, Our Health

The ocean makes planet Earth a habitable place to live and the marine environment is a source of vital human health benefits.

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The Sea Change consortium consists of 17 partners from nine different countries, coordinated by the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.

This consortium, which comprises nine public research organisations, one SME, five non profit organisations and two higher education institutions, brings together selected experts to collectively provide the knowledge, competence, skills and facilities needed for ensuring a good project development, the achievement of project objectives and the successful delivery of project results.


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    Jon Parr
    Sea Change Coordinator
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