Published by Celeste on 29 Aug 2011 at 08:46 pm
It is easy to think of WiserEarth as a social networking space for environmentalists and those involved in social justice. Or to think of it simply as a directory for listing your organization or event. However, a recent project with the Asia European Classroom, showed that the sites’s collaborative, wiki-based tools are also helping to support innovation in education.
The project? Liveable Buildings in Future Cities. The team? 79 students and teachers from 8 schools and 6 countries - Finland, Italy, India, Korea, the Philippines and Singagore – and two inspiring teachers named Chan Ying Cho and Mariya Ahmad.
Together, they are helping to demonstrate how ‘applying tools for global collaboration to higher learning’ can help to create a rich tapestry of educational resources, while simultaneously building shared resources for future generations.
The group’s mission was to develop awareness in youth that liveable buildings are necessary and possible with careful management. The Liveable Buildings in Future Cities Project examined how sustainable planning and technology can be integrated with different building functions.
For the project, students were required to discuss and conceptualize designs in 5 categories: buildings, food, residential, heritage/cultural, commercial, and educational in order to improve the impact of such buildings on our environment as well as make our cities a more vibrant place to live in.
The project needed three main features to be successful:
1. A secure portal which allowed participation between members of the project.
2. Enabling teachers-in-charge/ administrators the rights to monitor student interaction and participation.
3. A portal which could host the products of students’ learning and reflection, be it in the form of powerpoint presentations, word documents or jpeg files.
The students and professors were able to build their project by creating a WiserEarth group.
Some of the intense discussions that were debated on the group to help them in relation to their project:
Chan Ying Cho was heartened by the database of available resources on sustainability and green buildings that has been shared by the members of the WiserEarth community, saying that “I felt that the project was part of a wider community, and I did not have to start pooling my resources from scratch!”
Students have now started to upload their solutions and projects into the WiserEarth community, and some have joined other groups to engage in discussions on their particular projects.
This image above is of Chan Ying Cho, Mariya Ahmad and some of the students from the Millenia Institute in Singapore on a field trip to the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Singapore.
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