Mote wins award for outstanding digital education program

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) honored Mote Marine Laboratory’s digital learning program, SeaTrek.TV, with the 2017 Interactive Video Conferencing Professional Learning Network Content Provider award for their outstanding contributions to interactive videoconferencing.
 
The Interactive Video Conferencing Network promotes the understanding of interactive video conferencing and related virtual learning technologies within the K–12 education community by advancing collaboration, information dissemination, research and best practices.
 
SeaTrek.TV brings Mote's research, animals and exhibits to classroom learners using affordable, easy-to-use distance learning technology. These virtual field trips are an exciting way to engage learners with STEM topics such as diving into Mote Aquarium and chatting with a shark specialist or exploring the Florida Keys and making observations like a real coral reef scientist.
 
Jason Robertshaw, Mote’s Senior Coordinator of Educational Technology, and Kasey Gaylord-Opalewski, Mote’s Senior Coordinator of Digital Programs, will be honored with the award at the 2017 ISTE Conference & Expo, which is held in San Antonio from June 25-28.
 
“SeaTrek.TV celebrated its 20th anniversary last year,” Robertshaw said. “Kasey and I have been here for over 75 percent of that. It's a working partnership that blends our passion for science and the oceans with expert knowledge of educational priorities and expectations. Our use of distance learning technology allows us maximal impact and reach in a field that is typically resource constrained. The earth really only has one big ocean but the challenges it faces are many. Our goal is a greater public understanding of our marine resources and interactive videoconferencing has a vital role in our mission.”
 
SeaTrek has received numerous accolades and awards over the years for its innovative and creative approach to education, including the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration Pinnacle Award.
 
This is Robertshaw's and Gaylord-Opalewski's first award from the International Society for Technology in Education.
 
“ISTE offers vital professional development and networking opportunities for places like Mote that use technology to create connections between formal and informal educational organizations,” Robertshaw said. “ISTE keeps us informed on the ever shifting educational technology trends and helps us find the most effective strategies for connecting with a widening audience.”