Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Day


Every day is Earth Day for those of us who are more digitally oriented than atom oriented. I am so dismayed as I watch teachers over print for handouts, who overuse the copy machine for classroom handouts, and redo this process especially when they make a mistake. Perhaps one of the things we teachers can do in practice and as models is to become more digitally oriented when we want to provide material to our scholars. One method I use and teach is to copy text found on the Internet into a word processing program. Including URL and other pertinent information for attribution is also taught. This cuts down on the printing of unnecessary pages and provides digital notes for future use, especially when offline. Since OCR software has become so much better, scanning printed material not digitized is another tool we teachers can use instead of photocopying printed text. Once scanned it can be digitized for better distribution. Most everything we use in the classroom can be digitized and slowly turns our classrooms into more environmentally friendly classes.

I find some colleagues resistant to the use of recycled paper, that is paper printed only on one side. I'm even amazed at how challenging it is to ask colleagues to print on both sides.

Schools should be the center of recycling efforts in all communities because we are the educational centers of all communities. In too many cases our practices are so opposite the message of being green. Schools are not as conscious of recycling as the building in which we live. The plastic bags in our classroom garbage bags are a source of how not to be green. What goes into those classroom garbage bags is not separated. We don't see massive recycling efforts on a school district platform is this is just wrong and bad from an economic point of view. Perhaps one of the places schools districts should examine to save money is in our recycling efforts. This is particularly troubling when NYC is so involved in promoting recycling in the city by distributing material to schools and yet not practiced in our schools.

Another very poor area of recycling is in the area of our disposed technology. How many old technology like televisions, computers and monitors, copy machines are simply put into the daily garbage and not recycled correctly.

Schools should be more the model of correct behavior and not of bad behavior when it comes to being more green. We need to adopt a "doing my 10%" attitude. In fact I have yet to see any American newspaper do what the Guardian does in UK for the Environment.

I wonder if the series of natural events of earthquakes and such around the world in the last couple of years is the earth sending us a message.

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