Mote’s Digital Education Program recognized for excellence in virtual learning

Mote Marine Laboratory’s virtual learning program, SEAtrek.TV, earned the prestigious Pinnacle Award for educational, interactive videoconferencing for the 2018-2019 school year from the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC). The Pinnacle Award recognizes CILC content providers from around the world who have received outstanding ratings on program evaluations completed by educators and activity directors. 

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. Classrooms can virtually dive into Mote Aquarium and chat with our shark experts, or explore the Florida Keys and make observations like real coral reef scientists. Classrooms can continue the conversation after their virtual field trip through the use of SEAtrek.TV’s Flipgrid, leaving a video voicemail with questions about the ocean to be answered by Mote education and science staff.

“It is an honor to be recognized by fellow educators and to receive the Pinnacle Award for our virtual learning programs. Interactive videoconferencing allows Mote to reach audiences that might otherwise never visit an aquarium or even the ocean,” said Jason Robertshaw, Mote’s Program Manager for Virtual Learning, “Each year we make hundreds of virtual connections to classrooms around the world, sharing our passion and inspiring them to become better stewards of the coastal environment. Our goal is a greater public understanding of our marine resources and interactive videoconferencing has a vital role in that mission.”

To qualify for a Pinnacle Award, the provider must receive at least 2.85 average out of 3.0 on all their program evaluations during the school year. The program evaluation assesses if the presenter is knowledgeable about the content and engages well with the audience, and if the program was engaging, appropriate for the advertised age/grade range, aligned to the advertised educational standards, met the advertised educational objectives and if it had an impact on student learning. SEAtrek.TV has received ten Pinnacle Awards and two honorable mentions since the award’s start in 2008.

SEAtrek.TV has received great reviews from teachers. One teacher said, “Today's lesson was awesome! Thanks so much for keeping the students engaged and excited about learning information on sharks. Your lesson was right on track for their level of learning, and they couldn't wait to go back to class and share all the facts they learned about sharks. We even completed a diagram of a shark and labeled it! Fun, fun, fun!!! We hope to learn with you next year...."

With the new school year starting soon, the virtual learning team is gearing up for another busy year of exploration. To learn more about Mote SEAtrek.TV and to sign up for a lesson, visit www.seatrek.tv

About CILC

The Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC), established in 1994, specializes in the access to applications and the utilization of videoconferencing for live interactive content and professional development, as well as web-based collaborative learning environments for lifelong learning. CILC provides consulting expertise in videoconferencing, integration, problem-based learning projects, and effective techniques for the delivery and development of quality programs. Visit www.cilc.org to explore the various providers of content and diversity of programs and trainings available.

CILC serves as a program to the South Central Service Cooperative, an Education Service Agency with its headquarters in southern Minnesota.

Andrew Angelo, Aquarium Biologist III, and Ross Johnston, Education Specialist for Virtual Learning, present a program about jellyfish to a classroom in Texas.