The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services and digital agency INDIGI LAB have collaborated together to train five Indigenous rangers in using the latest technologies to share culture and stories in an immersive setting.
Djuro Sen is Australia's leading technology reporter, INDIGI LAB lead trainer and producer on the project told NITV he has 'never felt more at home during this production'.
"As an Kamilaroi man I’ve never felt more at home during a production. There was an instant bond and respect on location and it made telling the story in 360 degrees a natural process. Respect was the key and at all times cultural protocols were observed in this production." Says Mr Sen.
The workshop result? Seven 360-degree educational videos that aim to inspire kids to learn more about Aboriginal culture in the NSW region. Using the latest state-of-the-art technology the videos are a part of the award-winning WilderQuest educational program.
"These remarkable videos provide lifelong learning opportunities to encourage the next generation to value their local environment, shared culture and heritage."
"These remarkable videos provide lifelong learning opportunities to encourage the next generation to value their local environment, shared culture and heritage." Says WilderQuest Manager, Mr Simon Stroud.
With these videos, kids in classrooms across the state will be able to climb inside the twisting branches of a giant strangler fig at Dorrigo National Park and scale the rushing waterfalls at Blue Mountains National Park, guided by an Aboriginal ranger.
INDIGI LAB’s ECOTECH program provides the rangers with specialist skills in 360 storytelling, VR production and drone operation.
“Indigenous Peoples use of digital technology explores real connections to the natural world and the economic opportunities that link their traditional cultural knowledge that has been in place for thousands of years. Our program builds on this innovative way of thinking which has been a way of life for over 80,000 years." Says Luke Briscoe, INDIGI LAB Founder and Director.
The rangers came together for a group workshop at the National Park in Lane Cove earlier this year where they got hands on with the latest technologies. During the workshop they were exposed to, and learned basic operations of, drone flying operations and 360 video production.
These learning resources give Australia's young people the opportunity explore Aboriginal culture and the Australian environment through digital innovation.
Additionally, rangers and participants can embark on a learning journey, gathering the skills to share the stories that honour their work, and matter to them and their communities via. extraordinary 360 visuals.
"This new technology and skill development broadens the channels for our Aboriginal Discovery rangers to share their knowledge and allows children across the state to partake in a unique adventure." Said Simon Stroud.
The Aboriginal Storytelling videos can be enjoyed in the classroom on individual computers, interactive whiteboards, and tablets or through VR goggles for a complete virtual reality experience.
For more information about using the 360-degree videos in the classroom head to WilderQuest Aboriginal Campfire.
Luke Briscoe is a Digital Producer for NITV and you can follow his work @luke_briscoe79