We’re looking into the brain right now in class. The students started exploring google expeditions and the brain tours are really interesting. Students were able to zoom into the brain, check out inside parts of it, explore the central nervous system and just get a really good understanding of the different parts by seeing the connections.
I was wondering about the different ways we could “see” the brain to tune us in, and I hadn’t used google expeditions before so wanted to try it out.
My main dilemma was whether to guide them or not. I chose to let them explore. I feel they learned a lot more this way, because they had the opportunity to see what they wanted when they wanted and explore a little more deeply into the ideas that connected to them.
It is budget time and as I ask for more devices for my students, I wonder about the social and environmental cost behind my request. I’ve seen the videos and heard the horror stories of the “recycling” plants in China and around the world. I worry about the personal cost to people in these situations too, and wonder what is being done about it.
Since our school has started an iPad program I thought I would look into how Apple was thinking about sustainability. Apple says they are committed to transparency and are a member of different third party organizations to confirm this. I started reading their report on sustainable practice.
I guess I realized that everyone wants to be committed to sustainable practice but actual action is harder to take. From their report it looks like Apple firmly believes in helping their workers (including third party workers) gain fair wages, working conditions and success. I think all these things are true, but I do wonder about third party monitoring.
Going back to earlier post ideas, I wonder about recycling and design process. How can we start designing computers and tablets, and whatever else to be fully repurposed. I heard a program (forever ago it seems) on the CBC about tech designers looking at how the companies would have to be responsible for the waste (it would be included in the price or something) they then started talking about renting equipment. The point was you could pay the company (Apple, Samsung, Motorola, etc.) for a specific package, when the time to renew that package came up the company would take the phone and hopefully reuse the different components to make a new phone or tablet, etc.
Cradle to Cradle has been a focus for me these last couple of weeks, if it doesn’t show.
So I bought a back pack for my travels around with this philosophy.
I got it from kickstarter if you want to check it out http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mijlo/a-better-backpack-sustainable-design-sustainable-f.
Anyway, with my focus on permaculture the last couple of weeks as an individual and my focus on design as a teacher this cradle to cradle philosophy has really got me wondering about how we can teach students more about the ideas behind sustainable design.
I read this book three years ago, and was really concerned that tech people weren’t buying into this philosophy. So I want to make lessons that incorporate this idea. I love the idea of publishing ebooks rather than wasting paper, but we’re still using important resources in order to produce the tech to make the ebooks.
How can we bring the cradle to cradle philosophy to class?
I think a lot about my implicit and explicit teaching. When I work with students how can I reinforce the idea of sustainable design explicitly and through my implicit actions? This is my focus for this week: being really aware of how I promote sustainable design. Any help is more than welcome.