Interconnections between technologies, workers, users and the environment
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1. Behind the News - 21/07/2009: Bark Canoe

1. Behind the News - 21/07/2009: Bark Canoe | Interconnections between technologies, workers, users and the environment | Scoop.it
While we were on holidays NAIDOC week was on Thats a time when Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders celebrate their culture But while many of the old Indigenous ways have been preserved In the 2
Martin Yoon's insight:

This Behind the News (BTN) video explores the significance of NAIDOC week as a time when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders celebrate their culture. It promotes intercultural understanding as students develop a better understanding of Indigenous culture and traditions. Students also become aware that with time cultural practices may change. The video informs students that since European settlement some Indigenous customs have been lost such as; the art of bark canoes which was used for fishing and duck hunting. This is an excellent online resource to help students appreciate and understand that traditionally, Indigenous communities would use things around them (raw materials, resources) from the environment to make goods to satisfy their needs.

 

The video also provides an Aboriginal and Torres Strait perspective to teaching this subject matter. The depiction of Indigenous communities and customs are free from any cultural bias, generalisations, or stereotypes. After watching the video students realise that canoe making is an ancient art now primarily found in museums. In accordance to the Aboriginal Education Policy (New South Wales Department of Education and Communities, 2008), all staff must ‘use quality teaching and assessment practices and resources that are culturally inclusive (1.6.4) [and] provide all students with opportunities to develop deeper understandings of Aboriginal histories, cultures and languages [1.6.6]' (p.225).

 

As a literacy link (English WS1.9, WS1.10, WS1.11), students in small groups are to write a procedural recount about how the bark canoe was made. This BTN video and links provided on the BTN website as well as the Australian Museum website can be used to assist students. A focus should be made to using adjectives, explanations and conjunctions (sequential). During visual arts, students can use paints, crayons or make a collage to describe the steps in the procedure. Students can then share their information with other schools through a video conference or a short video to be posted on the class blog (using google blogger). These learning activities are effective as it helps students understand that making goods requires specific raw material and a sequential process. Furthermore, teachers can invite Aboriginal Australian guest speakers such as; a community elder to the school. Teachers must ensure that they use correct protocols and can contact the Aboriginal Education Officer or NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc. (AECG) to assist them with the process.

 

References

New South Wales Department of Education and Training. (2008). Aboriginal Education and Training Policy: An Introductory Guide. Sydney: Author. 

Racism No Way. (2005). Racism No Way: A. Guide for Australian Schools. Australia: Clarke Murphy Printing.

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3. For the Juniors - Farm to Table - Programs - ABC TV Education

3. For the Juniors - Farm to Table - Programs - ABC TV Education | Interconnections between technologies, workers, users and the environment | Scoop.it
This series of six programs looks at what happens to certain foods before they reach the supermarket shelves.
Martin Yoon's insight:

This website is fantastic for teaching lower primary students about how people and technologies link to produce goods and services which satisfy needs and wants. The website provides episode information for a series titled; Farm to Table for students aged 6-8 years. Each series is arranged in groups of programs related to the production of different foods such as; honey, milk, apples and rice. Watching the apple, honey, rice and milk programs allows students develop an appreciation for the environment, and an understanding that there is an interdependence between people and the environment (NSW Board of Studies, 2007, p.13).

 

Students can construct knowledge and develop a deeper understanding of what happens to some of the foods they use on a daily basis before they reach the supermarket shelves. Deeper learning and metacognitive skills are encouraged through the interactive features on the website such as; animations and cartoons which prompt students to question or think about the issues raised in the program. The website also includes teacher resources, and follow up activities for each series and are specifically designed for teaching in Human Society and it's Environment (HSIE). The suggested classroom and workstation activities are effective because they are student-centered. Using teacher centered classroom activities rather than traditional teacher- centered activities will enhance student motivation which will in-turn increase learning. As suggested by Brown (2008) “children learn more by doing and experiencing rather than by reading, and listening to content” (p.30). The collective work of theorists; John Dewey, Jean Piaget, and Lev Vygotsky are responsible for the transition to student-centered learning environments.

 

As a follow-up activity students can gather infromation and investigate about the different Australian farming technology used in rice farming (for land preparation, irrigation, and sowing seeds and harvesting the crop). In order to develop intercultural understanding, students can use the rice program on this website as well as 'Pak Yono’s Paddy Field: Growing rice in Indonesia Book' to create a collage or poster comparing how rice is grown and farmed in Australia to Indonesia. The series about Rice on the ABC website promotes intercultural understanding, ecological sustainability and life long learning (values and attitudes). In the rice video, a father and son who are in the supermarket show how various cultural groups within our multicultural society eat rice, and in turn students develop an appreciation for why people eat and prepare rice in different ways.

 

References

Brown, K.J. (2008). Student- Centered Instruction: Involving Students in their own Education. Music Educators Journal, 94 (5), pp. 30-35.

 

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5. Discover Dairy! Going from Farm to Plate

5. Discover Dairy! Going from Farm to Plate | Interconnections between technologies, workers, users and the environment | Scoop.it

Here you will find a comprehensive unit of work that clearly demonstrates all of the stages involved in the creation of Australian dairy products - from milk production on the farm to arrival at supermarkets.

Martin Yoon's insight:

This interactive website provides students with information about; dairy farming in Australia, how cows are milked, the day to day duties of dairy farmers on the farm and in the office, and how dairy farmers reduce energy use through energy-efficient water cooling systems and plant equipment. The website allows students to develop a better understanding of the nutritional benefits of milk and how it can be categorised as a 'need.' The “Milk from Farm to Plate-What’s it all About?” interactive animation is engaging for students and takes them through the process of how milk ends up in supermarkets. Students develop an awareness of how technologies, workers, users and the environment are interconnected in a process to produce milk.

 

Students develop a better understanding of the growing use of technology in dairy farming by introducing to students the term ‘robotic milking.’ Students have the opportunity to watch Winnindoo Dairy Farm in Victoria through online ‘In Dairy’ cameras to get an up close look at how this new technology is used to collect milk. When students use these multimedia simulations, animations and live camera footage of diary cows it 'affords students the opportunity to transcend the passive learner role and to take control of their learning’ (Mishra and Koehler, 2006, p.1035).

 

As a learning strategy, students can identify ways in which previous generations in local farming communities would produce bottled milk without the prevalance of todays technology. This can be through an excursion to Glenmore Gavana Holsteins Dairy Farm (NSW) which includes fun tours and information appropriate for stage one students about past and modern dairy farming.

Hence, this website is a fantastic way to explore the interconnections between technology, workers, users and the environment in an interactive and fun way. According to Marsh (2008) ‘computer technology benefits the classroom because it provides the flexibility to meet the individual needs and abilities of each student, provides students with immediate access to rich source materials beyond the school and beyond the nation, motivates and stimulates learning and enables the teachers to move from information-giver or instructor, to facilitator of learning’ (p.202-203). 

 

Reference list

Marsh, C. J. (2008). Becoming a Teacher: Knowledge, Skills and Issues. Australia: Frenchs Forest, Pearson Australia.

Mishra, P. & Koehler, M.J.(2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A Framework for Teacher Knowledge. Teachers College Record, 18 (6), pp.1017-1054.

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2. YouTube - What is behind the label?

Ever considered who made the product you have just bought? Or why it was so cheap?
Martin Yoon's insight:

This video stimulus by World Vision provides a global perspective that can be used to help students develop a better understanding of “ethical consumerism”. By featuring children in this video, students engage and recognise the serious issues surrounding child labour and harm, as well as environmental and animal exploitation. The accumulation of high modality words and pathos help students realise that some cheap goods they buy to meet needs and wants can involve; children in other countries being exploited for their labour, or it can have detrimental effects on the environment and on animals. Furthermore, direct verbs such as; “ask questions, get on the internet, find out whats behind the label, write letters, be an active citizen...” persuades the audience to become "ethical consumers" by making informed decisions about the goods they choose to buy. 

 

In order to develop a better understanding of the importance of fair trade, students in small groups can collect quantitative and qualitative data on the number of fair trade products sold in their school canteen, school uniform shop or PE department. Then students can use an inquiry process to gather information about one product of their choice such as; the country it is produced in, who makes the product (e.g. young children), how much money the workers receive, and the environmental consequences of producing the product. This activity develops skills in acquiring information and will promote values and attitudes such as; social justice, intercultural understanding and ecological sustainability. Students can also share their information about ‘ethical consumerism’ and their investigations during school assemblies through songs/raps or paintings. 

 

Furthermore, as a literacy link (WS1.9) students can write letters to different companies such as Cadbury explaining why it is important to; use fair trade and their role as a multinational company, and global citizen. This activity will help students develop a better understanding about the features of a letter and the purpose of letters (informative). It will also develop skills in sentence formation. In terms of HSIE, this activity allows students to become ‘active, informed and responsible citizens who will work towards promoting a socially just society in a sustainable environment at local, national and global levels’ (NSW Board of Syllabus, 2007, p.13).

 

References

New South Wales Board of Studies. (2007). Human Society and Its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Author. Retrieved on 1st April 2014 from http://k6.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/go/hsie

New South Wales Board of Studies. (2007). English K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Author. Retrieved on 1st April 2013 from http://k6.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/go/english

 

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4. Set up a marker recycling program with Crayola!

4. Set up a marker recycling program with Crayola! | Interconnections between technologies, workers, users and the environment | Scoop.it

"We're asking Crayola to make sure these markers don't end up in our landfills, incinerators and oceans."

Martin Yoon's insight:

This engaging video by “Kids Who Care” a ‘green team’ from Sun Valley School (California) campaigns for Crayola to develop a “take back” recycling program for their plastic textas. The video features children who use informal and informative language which meet the literacy and learning needs of all stage one students. Crayola makes approximately one billion un-recyclable markers each year which is enough to wrap around the earth more than three times. The video uses engaging music to capture the attention of students to the serious issue of Crayola makers ending up in; landfill, oceans and incinerators because there is no current “take back” recycling program. The video features the opinions of children on how they love using Crayola textas and would like to create change by encouraging Crayola to be a leader for the environment. The website also includes a template letter (petition) to the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Crayola explaining about the need for Crayola to take back empty plastic containers and tubes.

 

Children can identify with Crayola as a popular stationary brand and this helps students develop a better understanding that buying and using particular goods can have local, national and global implications for the environment. The multiple videos uploaded on the website by children from around America who have joined the “Kids Who Care” petition captures; songs, group performances, children's comments, and suggestions to possible alternatives for Crayola. Furthermore, listening to the link from the Story of Stuff Project (Episode 9) helps to promote the following values and attitudes; ecological sustainability, democratic processes, beliefs and moral codes and life long learning. The persuasive videos and high modality texts (comments by children, petition letter, background information) featured on the website, encourages students to take responsibility for the products they consciously buy.

 

Teachers can use Crayola as an example to help students recognise that their is an interconnection between workers, users of goods and the environment on a global level because we are all responsible for “Earth and its future." Videos of students from Concord Elementary (on the website) convinces students that children can become agents of change by working together to campaign for changes in production and recycling processes.

From a pedagogical perspective, this stimulus encourages quality learning because students can relate to Crayola and their products, therefore they have the necessary prior knowledge to construct new knowledge. This idea has theoretical foundations because Constructivists such as Von Glasersfield (1995) ‘assert that new knowledge arises out of an individual’s active construction drawing on prior experiences and knowledge’ (Schuh, 2003. p.426).

 

References

Schuh, K. L. (2003). Knowledge Construction in the Learner-Centered Classroom. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95 92), p.426-442. 

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