On thinking about schooling and the education system that needs to progress for a better future, a shift in the paradigms of curriculum and methodology of teaching/how teaching is perceived, is at the forefront. As it should be. If you’ve read my essays, you’ve seen it’s been a concern of mine. Why? I have no school age kids (mine are both married; no grand kids yet). It’s the future generations I am concerned about, and how I will live, and my grandchildren and theirs, in this world. I am concerned if the students of today have the skills, or not, to be the creative and critical thinkers needed to survive the upcoming world to come.
How Green Is My Education?
Yes, it’s one more thing to think about. Teachers are losing jobs left and right, classroom sizes are exploding, pedagogy that actually works is undermined by the need to test and assess (yeah, I’ll never let that one go). Yet, money can be saved by going green even in existing buildings. The links above not only offer suggestions but give you more links for research.
Monies can be found through grant writing. You just have to slog through all that is out there, but when we talk budget: you have options here. Corporations that are working on going green solutions should be reached out to, and from there to local markets to support you community.
- Empty lot that is an eyesore near the school and has been that way for a LONG time?
- See if the owner is open to a volunteer school reclaiming the lot as a garden.
- You get: Community Connections and Service; Cooperation Skills; Science and Math Skills; Agriculture; Possible Commerce (if you can grow and sell flowers/be zoned for vegetables); Organizational planning; more.
- Going to eBooks instead of books.
- Yeah, I LOVE books, but…ecologically, cost and space, they are a waste now. We have the technology, and it grows in leaps and bounds.
- When all the big text book companies put out all their published work electronically, plus all the plays, novels, stories, etc we have around the schools, things can move along. My reasoning? Textbooks go through revisions, become outdated, or the school system takes on a whole new Math/English program that requires a whole new set of material. School books are not cheap.
- Now, if electronically, you buy the text books you want to use, you should be able to get, or demand:
- renewable downloads built in for ebb and flow of student numbers;
- new revisions automatically (slight fee or not; up to the companies and you);
- switch in new program accessibility;
- corrections to “printed” material immediately;
- and it’s cloud outsourced, which means your clogged book shelves and storerooms are NOT anymore.
- No more “I forgot my book” or “I left my book at Grandma’s house three states away. Which brings me to…
- Tablets in schools.
- Less room than laptops. Will fit on ALL existing desk structures.
- Connectivity in schools will have to be drastically increased (silly to go electronically when you cannot connect, or it’s always dropped. I see that too often).
- You get the company to pad the outside like you do with iPhones, create shatter proof screens, and instal LoJack type systems so the property can’t be taken out of school without the attack dogs knowing (and yeah, change that chip/location often so our darling little hackers don’t have an easy time of it).
- Papers on the floor, missing? Gone, or reduced. Books destroyed? What books? Other creative doo-dads that can expand the classroom globally? Oh, yes.
- Costs? Think about partnering up with more than Apple. There is a LOT more out there than iPads, iPhones, iDon’t use Adobe Flash.
- Global Education: we are SO behind the times in media technology in our schools. The economy and businesses are going global: why are we not prepping our students this way?
- Librarians: I am NOT trying to get rid of your jobs. The schools are already doing a great job of that now. I can’t tell you how many schools are downsizing their own libraries, as classroom “libraries” grow. I think there is a need for the change in School Library paradigm as well.
Those are only three things on my list. Yes, I have a list. More things to think about as we go along.
How Do You Go Green in Schools, or Want To?
btw…the first pic at top: it just struck me as funny, the image of a GREEN Green School.
This photo just struck me as how I would love a class that is dialogue/inquiry based to be set up. EVERYONE can see each other. Room in the middle for activities. When I had my own continuous classroom, my model was for sitting in a U shape, sort of like this for that reason. Everyone was visible and line of sight was always there. It supported communications. If desks like this had a slightly raked/raised built in tablet for student use… wow.