Council Leading The Way in Wetland Education

Central Coast Council is helping lead the way for the next generation to be involved in protecting the Coast’s waterways by launching its first ever free Multi-Touch Books.

Two digital books have been developed for pre-schoolers, primary school students and educators. The books highlight the importance of wetlands, what lives in them and how everyone can play a role in looking after them.

Council Group Leader, Ms Julie Vaughan, said education was a key to helping protect the wetlands and Council is heading straight to the classroom with an innovative and interactive learning tool designed to appeal directly to kids.

“Working with educators and kids is nothing new for Council, we have been doing this for some time – but what is different is the way we are going about it which came directly from feedback from teachers across the Coast,” Ms Vaughan said.

“The teachers wanted something that could be easily used in the classroom and out in the field – so we delivered the first iBooks for Council.

“Now the resource is digital, teachers can easily link it up to the smartboards in the classroom for all the students to see.

“This exciting project is more than a book – being interactive the books contain songs, photos and videos as well as practical activities for the classroom and out in the field.

“The books are full of generic information that can relate to wetlands across the country, but they also have localised case studies on Porters Creek Wetland and Avoca Lagoon.”

Using these Multi-Touch Books, students will be able to explore photos with interactive captions, complete field sketches, listen to wildlife calls, take photos, touch and drag images into the correct order or have the answer spring to life in a chapter review.

Completed activities can be submitted to the teacher electronically only from an iPad or iPhone.

Council Administrator, Mr Ian Reynolds, said protecting our waterways and the environment was a key priority for Council and the community and this new technology would be crucial in getting the next generation involved as well.

“The books not only educate the students in class, but they also can help the wider community learn about the importance of wetlands and what they can do to protect them,” Mr Reynolds said.

“If we can actively engage our younger generation now in the importance of protecting our waterways and environment they will become their champions now and help ensure their future.

“We all have a role to play and this project is a great example of Council  working with the community to deliver an important resource that can be used for free and in return help educate our community on our local environment.”

These books have been developed with local early childhood educators and primary school teachers to support the Commonwealth Government Early Years Learning Framework and the NSW Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum (Geography and Science & Technology K-6). Additional lesson outlines will be available on Council’s estuary website loveourlivinglakes.com.au

The Multi-Touch Books are now available to download for free on the iBookstore, just search for Central Coast Council.