Salzburg, Austria: ‘Hellenic digital-earth Centre of Excellence’ led by Prof. Dr. Nikos Labrinos from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, became the first accredited digital-earth.eu Centre of Excellence (CoE). For this purpose, in April 2012, a ‘Call for Applications’ was launched at the Geospatial World Forum in Amsterdam.
digital-earth.eu is a European Centre dealing with geographic (geo-)media in school at European level. It was established as a result of the digital-earth.eu Comenius network, funded by the European Commission. The goal of the network of Centres of Excellence is to share and promote innovative practices and to persuade decision makers of the importance of recent geospatial developments.
Dr. Labrinos commented, “The establishment of the Hellenic digital-earth CoE is important for two reasons: The first one is – I could say – political. Hellenic institutions need good news to overcome the difficult situation caused by the financial crisis. The establishment of a new educational and research Centre symbolises a new beginning, a rebirth, of the Hellenic spirit. The second has to do with geography itself. The Centre will provide a forum to the teachers to exchange their ideas and efforts in this area, something that they didn’t have until now. They have to realise that they are not alone out there anymore. They will have support.”
The Hellenic Centre has three main goals: 1) the admission and inclusion of digital geography in the Greek National Curriculum 2) the support and training of teachers and 3) the construction and dissemination of digital tools.
In future, it is planned that a network of accredited national and regional centres and experts across Europe will act as multipliers, working with teachers and educators in their own countries and contexts. Digital-earth.eu provides advice and support to these de-centralised Centres, hosting meetings and setting up a communication infrastructure. The creation of European, national and regional Centres is part of a sustainability plan elaborated by the network coordinators – experts from across Europe should be able to cooperate after the end of the funding period.
The European Centre digital-earth.eu invites institutions and individual experts which are outstanding in the field of geo-media in schools to apply to become an accredited “digital-earth Centre of Excellence” or “digital-earth Experts”. Applications may be sent at [email protected]