I believe it is necessary for an educator to be knowledgeable in current ICT trends in order for the students to be competent and engaged in their education (Finger, Russell, Jamieson-Proctor, & Russell, 2007). To achieve these aims of using ICT’s to support my teaching would enable students to use inquiry based learning (Finger, Russell, Jamieson-Proctor, & Russell, 2007).
As part of an assessment as a pre-service teacher, I was required to make a blog on the scratch programming which I belive could be used in stage 2 and 3 of the Australian curriculum to benefit students. Scratch programming is a great program to teach angles of shapes etc.
EnQuest has fantasist educational engineering activities involving mathematics, science and technology. EngQuest allows students investigate the properties of materials for the design and construction. This site is one that is really worth trying with students!
This website is a great insight into the bugs that are edible and the ones that are not, there are also recipes on how to cook bugs. There are useful links thatt can help students understand why eating bugs may become part of a sustainable future.
Here are some examples that should be edible;
grasshoppers, katydids, crickets, roaches, termites, scarab beetles and dragon flies.
John Lewis Partnership offers a compelling retail perspective on how corporate resource efficiency is reshaping the waste supply chain in the second of our Resource Revolution thought leader video interview series.
Engineers of the future can not only design their inventions they can manufacture them in 3D.
A little machine called a 3D printer at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington works more like a piece of high tech manufacturing equipment. Design whatever you want on a computer-aided drafting program called Mastercam and it makes it come to life. Plastic thread the size of a weed whacker string is fed through the machine. Then, Jeb Berger explained, "The platform heats up so the plastic will melt. Also this extruder will heat up so the plastic will melt."
The engagement that would happen through these tasks would be fantastic and give students a deeper understanding computer-aided manufacturing. I would love to be able to do this with a group of students.
Lakshman Singh's ingenious method of rain water harvesting has made Laporia, a small village near Jaipur drought proof and poverty free.
Lakshman Singh and his friends in Laporia used 'Chauk' method of ground water recharging. A series of bunds, channels and pits are dug over a 5Km stretch in a checker board like pattern, following the natural slope of land. Rain water flows slowly across the Chauka system resulting in the retention of top soil and increase in moisture content. This also helps in recharging ground water.
The broken bund (mud embankment) was emblematic of all that was wrong with laporia. The inhabitants of this arid village in an arid district in India’s most arid state, Rajasthan, were dirt poor. They were malnourished, wore torn clothes and rarely washed. Soap, they could not afford. Nor sugar or milk in their tea. Many went to bed hungry every night. Diseases and illnesses went untreated, because there were no medicines. Children remained illiterate. Cattle died or thirst. Upper and lower castes crumbling property, dragging relatives to court.
The root cause of Laporia’s misery was acute water scarcity.
Farming was the main occupation for the 200 families. But drought, compounded by the crumbling bund, dry ponds and empty, wells doomed cultivation to a perennial losing battle with nature, city jobs become the sole meal ticket. Laxman Singh went to Jaipur to study, but dropped out of school because his family could not afford the fees. Miserable, he returned to the misery of his village. He faced a bleak future. No education meant jobs in the city; no water meant any farming in his village.
Laxman Singh was 18yeas old when he realized the only way to turn Laporia’s misfortune was to repair the bund along the dry pond. It had remained broken for 230years. If scanty rainfall could be collected in the pond, then feeder canals could be dug to irrigate the fields, making cultivation feasible. Laporia could turn “green”. Villagers mocked his fantasy. “And who would pay our wages to repair the bund?” they demanded sarcastically. Laxman Singh had no answer. He was stumped: no rich landlords to subsidize the labour; no philanthropists nearby to fund then and the government was far away and unconcerned. He was thoroughly depressed. There seemed no way out of this vicious cycle.
Then one day it struck him perhaps there is a way out: villagers could volunteer to repair the bund. After all, they were the beneficiaries. Neighbors scoffed at his suggestion. They had better thing to do Singh resolved to do it himself. One friend supported him. The pair decided to repair the bund themselves. It was no small task: the bund was 1.5Km. Long and 15 feet high. Armed with spades, they set off to the bund one summer day in 1978. Passersby wondered; “How can the bund be repaired by just two people?” Singh retorted “well, you can join us that would help”. Four village youths joined him. By the seventh day. The trickle swelled to 20. When rains came two months later. Water collected in the pond for the first times decades.
By 1984, the pond was irrigating 1,800 acres of farmland. From virtually no income, the average income of a family rose to Rs.14, 000 per annum – enough to provide a comfortable life. Villagers congregated for the ceremony to name the pond “Anna Sagar”: the sea of grain. Asserts Singh “If you really want to achieve anything in life, you have to get down and do it yourself. You can lead others only by setting yourself as an example.”
Laxman Singh also devised a simple but unique water harvesting program in the outskirts of his village. He call it’s the “Chauka” system. It comprises a series of channels and square pits fringed by two-foot high bunds in a chequer board pattern over a 5Km expanse in which rainwater slope of the land this not only enables the water to flow into the ponds nearby, but creates grassy patches on the pits on which cattle can graze. Thus, his dry wastelands bordering the villages were converted into grassy village common land, ideal for pasture.
Villages die when common land disappear. Called “gochar”, pasture is considered sacred by Hindu villagers. Across India, pasture for cattle grazing is vanishing, either due to drought or to land grabbers. Grassy gochar symbolizes healthy villages. It symbolizes the symbiotic relationship between man, nature and animals, if water is harvested, crops and grass grow and cattle have natural vegetation to feed on, which so cheaper and healthier than hormone-injected cattle feed. More cattle mean more dung, which is the cheapest and best natural fertilizer-cum-pesticide. Organic farming – which now the world acknowledges – is the healthy, natural way to cultivate crops. No pesticides and fertilizers that position the earth and drive farmers to penury says Laxman Singh: : the less we interfere with nature, the better it is for all of us. Everything and everyone has its place in our eco-system. We live in a natural cycle of inter-dependence –land, water, man, beast, all depend on each. If you don’t disrupt the cycle of dependency, this natural bio-rhythm, there will be harmony.”
Over the years, all the ponds of the village were rejuvenated. Villagers performed puja to celebrate the consecration of “Dev Sagar” and “Phool Sagar.” Crops were harvested twice a year Laporia became virtually self sufficient as farmers grew corn. Maize, bajra, jowar, wheat, lentils, groundnuts, chillis mustard, fenugreek and variety of vegetables.
Their new-found sense of well-being villagers feels the need to organize a thanks giving ceremony. In 1987, the villagers institutionalized their annual nature-worshipping ritual. Villagers gather to renew their bond with nature and each other, eat gud (melted jiggery), tie sacred threads and apply tilak on trees, birds, cattle, wells and ponds. They pray to Lord Indra to bless the village with rain. They tie rakhi on each other as mark of friendship and community bonding. It is day of festivity and rejoicing.
From an impoverished, drought-afflicted, conflict-ridden village, Laporia become a trail-blazing symbol of rural renewal, a self-sufficient oasis of agricultural produce, Pease and harmony, it’s fame spread. Other adjoining villages followed suit. Villagers started organizing the “Sharm Dhan”, to donate their labour to desilt the tanks and ponds. The desilting ceremony takes about five days. Over the years, this became a vibrant local tradition. Inhabitants of Laporia went on a padayatra to the adjoining villages to help with the desilting of their ponds. These villagers came to theirs. Now 500 villages participate in these padayatra to desilt their water bodies. In the evening, youngsters organize cultural entertainment – songs, dances and street theatre. The evening ends with a sumptuous feast prepared by the village housewives. Says Singh: “ as businessmen and officers, my classmates make more money than me. But I have the satisfaction of changing the life of my entire village.
Village development committees now decide on new programs to build roads, install taps, establish and education facilities. Self-sufficiency is the village mantra; Panchauyati Raj as Mahatma Gandhi envisioned. “Villagers must be encouraged to become custodians of their village and its surroundings. If every village becomes a viable, harmonious and peaceful economic unit, then people would be happy and India would be strong. When village life breaks sown, and youngsters are forced to migrate in reach of work, then Prime Minister. Gro Harlen Brundtland, who coined the phrase “sustainable Development” in the 1980s Singh, typifies the Indian village. Who blessed with robust common sense, needs no celebrity endorsements or academic studies, to convince him of the ancient wisdom that he carries in his genes, refreshed everyday by observing nature.
One would have expected Singh to be rewarded with a bouquet of citations for path-breaking work. Instead, village officials were displeased. They served him with a ‘show cause’ notice for usurping their authority. Laxman Singh had farmed new rules of his village. If a villager cut on tree, would have a plant five saplings as compensation. If he hunted animals, he must pay a fine of 11 bushels of grain. If he shot a bird, he would have to feed the village birds. Most complied; some complained. Local officials were annoyed. Punishing villagers was their job, not his. Laxman Singh was summoned to their office, but his entreaties and explanations that patwaris ignored such offences or took bribes from the offenders and released them, fell on deaf ears.
When he heard about this harassment, botanist from Jaipur, who had taken an interest in Laporia’s transformation. Contacted Delhi-based scientists, who in turn urged village officials to lay off Laxman Singh. They did brickbats turned to bouquets as the authorities began to reward him with prizes for his pioneering work to rejuvenate Laporia.
Perhaps, the most remarkable aspect about Laporia’s renewal is it’s forestation that has lured birds. Says Laxman Singh proudly: “Birds are the best signs of a healthy environment”. Varieties of birds now flock to Laporia. The village courtyard is a daily Kumbh mela of parrots. Peacocks perch on roof tops. Woodpeckers hug tress. Pigeons strut. Koels coo hauntingly. People of this once arid, godforsaken village greet each day with the birdsong of larks, warblers, nightingales and other winged minstrels of the forests.
UNSUNG is an ongoing project by photographer Mahesh Bhat. It came out as a book in 2007, authored by Mahesh Bhat and Anita Pratap. Published here by arrangement with the authors. All pictures copyrighted to Mahesh Bhat.
The method of storing harvested water is paramount for people’s survival. This paper would allow students to understand the importance of harvesting water and how they might be able to make a more sustainable house. Students could then use EnQuest to design their own sustainable house/building.
The site promotes the innovative and creative use of film in language learning. All of the lesson plans revolve around the use of video and film to teach English. The site promotes cineliteracy, the ability to analyse moving images, and considers cineliteracy as a 21st century skill which our students need to learn.
One major and readily available source of nutritious and protein-rich food that comes from forests are insects, according to a new study FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organization) launched at the forests for food security and nutrition conference. It is estimated that insects form part of the traditional diets of at least 2 billion people. Insect gathering and farming can offer employment and cash income, for now mostly at the household level but also potentially in industrial operations.
“We are not saying that people should be eating bugs,” said Eva Muller, Director of FAO’s Forest Economic Policy and Products Division, which co-authored “Edible insects: Future prospects for food and feed security”.
“We are saying that insects are just one resource provided by forests, and insects are pretty much untapped for their potential for food, and especially for feed,” Muller explained.
So bugs are edible and fantastic for food and feed security but the UN FAO is not saying people should eat bugs. They just have a study which shows how efficient and beneficial bugs can be.
Farming insects sustainably could help avoid over-harvesting, which could affect more prized species. Some species, such as meal worms, are already produced at commercial levels, since they are used in niche markets such as pet food, for zoos and in recreational fishing.
If production were to be further automated, this would eventually bring costs down to a level where industry would profit from substituting fishmeal, for example, with insect meal in livestock feed. The advantage would be an increase in fish supplies available for human consumption.
Because they are cold-blooded, insects don’t use energy from feed to maintain body temperature. On average, insects use just 2 kg of feed to produce 1 kilo of insect meat. Cattle, at the other end of the spectrum, require 8 kg of feed to produce 1 kg of beef.
In addition, insects produce a fraction of emissions such as methane, ammonia, climate-warming greenhouse gases and manure, all of which contaminate the environment. In fact, insects can be used to break down waste, assisting in the composting processes that deliver nutrients back to the soil while also diminishing foul odours.
Dart is a website all teacher should have a look at! It allows students to be apart virtual excurions and is a step forward into giving students hands on experiance with experts in thier fields. Therefore using techologies to engage and enhance students leaning. In the next month thier are virtual excurions on
Questacon Technology Learning Centre Virtual Workshop Trial
Korea- Australia Linking to the Great Barrier Reef - Invitation Only Event
Space Center Houston- Nasa Museum
Staging Stories - FREE - Sydney Opera House
Reptiles at Taronga Zoo - celebrating World Environment Day
Which can be used across all areas of the Australian Curriculum
This video is an excellent multimodal stimulus to cause discussion amongst students on insects and sustainability. This topic of insects also allows students to start to talk about the differences between the production of products, services and environments in Australia and Thailand.
Oxfam's new interactive map shows how poor communities across the world are being hurt by high and volatile food prices. The ‘food price pressure points map’ provides a global snapshot of the impacts of the global food price crisis.