We have developed "DigitalIEE" a system that supports collaborative environmental education via distributed virtual space accessible from real and virtual worlds. With DigitalEE, learners in the real world and environmental specialists in virtual worlds can make interactive communication via "3D virtual nature," which is a VRML world three-dimensionally representing real forest, while mutually sharing learners' achievements and environmental specialists' knowledge that are accumulated in common knowledge databases on the server. Our system realizes various unique functions such as accumulation of environmental knowledge derived from real natural experiences, education supported by specialized knowledge of environmental specialists from all over the world, virtual tours to the natural environment that is not easily accessible, and global arguments on environmental issues with worldwide participants. The system aims at enlightening learners' consciousness of environmental preservation by realization of these functions that have been difficult to support with conventional methods in environmental education.
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