The Open Online Course Success is celebrating its fifth run. The new course starts in January 2022.
The course is about learning good habits that lead to success. Participants are introduced to four main focus areas mindset, goals and tasks – individually and as part of a team. You will get the opportunity to get to know people from all of the world and from different backgrounds both professionally as well as personally.
The course runs for 9 weeks and anyone with internet connection can participate. Everyone can benefit from the course, especially students and young professionals.
MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course and was first developed by Stanford University in 2008. The aim of MOOC is to offer online courses for an unlimited number of students worldwide and is published via open access on the web.
In this blog two thoughts on how we as individuals can reduce our digital carbon footprint. Maybe this can be used to challenge ourselves, students and colleagues for more ideas. We start with a few facts.
Data centers are responsible for as much CO2 emission as all air traffic (2019). The communications industry is on track to generate more carbon emissions than the automotive, aviation and energy sector together. Data use doubles every four years (Computerworld Aug. 9, 2019).
The energy consumption of data centers is estimated to be 3.2 % of the total worldwide carbon emissions by 2025 and responsible for a fifth of global electricity consumption. By 2040, storing digital data is set to create 14 % of the world’s emissions. Electricity worldwide is mostly generated using fossil fuels. Some claim that renewable energy could be a solution, but this is a sham. Renewable energy to fuel these data centers is energy that cannot be used for other sectors. So-called renewable energy based on pulp from production forests is only CO2 neutral when looking at a period of 80 years, and that is not the timeline we can afford us now. Pulp plantations often replaced rich ecosystems. Renewable energy such as biofuel often displaces crop production farther into threatened forests, savannahs and peatland. Only a very small portion of biofuel comes from waste fats from the food industry (greenpeace.org).
40% of the energy use in data centers is used for cooling. The industry itself could safe on this part of the energy consumption by moving data centers to cold places, such as Siberia. But what can we do?
We could delete old files that are stored in the cloud, such as e-mail messages, photo’s, videos etc. We and employers should consider to stay away from cloud services. Maybe not so easy, but the easiest solution is not always the best for our planet.
If all US citizens using email deleted 500 e-mail messages which reside in Spam box, Trash bin, or Unread messages, this would save energy use amounting to 33.000 million kilowatt-hours. This equals 3.700 million liter gasoline.
If everyone around the world deleted 10 emails (spam or not spam), this would result in deleting 1,725,00 GB, because storing 1GB emails (or 1000 emails) takes 32 kWh. Consequently, this would save 55.2 million kWh (Good Planet & RESET).
So imagine how much energy would be saved if everyone deleted 10 emails every day?
The map above shows that China is the country with by far most CO2 emission (Our World in Data). So, what can we do about this? One of the reasons is that energy production in China is still mostly relying on burning coal. Another reason is that China produces many products for the rest of the world. How many of these products (plastic toys, cheap clothes, gadgets …) do we really need? And which products can be produced elsewhere with less pollution, less CO2 emission, less transport costs, and under better worker conditions?
Juggling is fun, it’s a nice break, you can do it anywhere, and at any level. If you do not have juggling balls, you can easily make them yourself. See the video below or search YouTube for more examples. Some use rice, others flour. We experienced that making juggling balls from (old) tennis balls is the easiest and gives the best result.
Now you can start juggling. First a video for young kids and thereafter more technical video on how to learn juggling.
An outdoor workout or boot-camp is a good alternative for the gym, especially in times of corona. Research claims that being physically active every day, has a positive influence on your brain and on cognitive work. Many physical breaks have a larger effect than one workout. Read for example Mike Kuczala’s book The Kinestetic Classroom. Training together is more motivating and more fun. For younger kids exercise should be a game. There are may ways to be active outdoors. Here two suggestions, a video and a program in visualized in pictures. See also the blog about Juggling.
Why all maps of the world are wrong. Or in other words: Why do all maps of the world present a wrong, distorted image.
Why do we use maps? How can we present the globe in two dimensions? What challenges do we face?
Start with one of the first two videos and then move on to the second one. The latter is spoken fast and uses a wide, scientific vocabulary.
The only correct representation of the world is a globe. Every projection serves a specific purpose. It’s interesting to explore the different projections and their use and purpose throughout history. It appears that projections and perpectives change over time and place and are culturally bound.
To get a good impression use the tool ‘The True Size‘. This tool makes it possible to drag a chosen country over the world and compare its (true) size with that of other countries. Visit the website https://thetruesize.com
This topic can be addressed from many different angles: geography, politics. history, mathematics, ethics….
Research in Asia shows that in the big cities 90% of the students leaving school have to wear spectacles due to myopia (nearsightedness). The reasons given are too much hard work for school, far too little exposure to daylight, and lack of time spent outdoors. Recent research in The Netherlands shows a steep increase in myopia (nearsightedness) among 20 year old students (Klaver, 2017). Myopia is the eye disorder with the most rapid increase in prevalence worldwide. In 1990 only 5% of the school leavers in The Netherlands suffered from myopia. In 2017 this has risen to 50%, and this is likely to increase. It develops in childhood, with a peak incidence between the ages of 13 to 15 years. Myopia developed in childhood cannot be reversed.
The main reasons given for the steep increase is the frequent use of social media on smartphones and iPads, and og computers in general. Children use their eyes too one-sided, namely for nearsight mainly. This results in eyes that change shape to accomodate for this effort. Another negative side-effect of the use of digital devices is the fact that the eyes become too dry. We blink only 10% of the normal amount when watching at a screen.
Other causes, related to the use of digital devices, are a decrease in hours spent outdoors and the decrease in exposure to daylight. In childhood the eyes need both daylight and the exposure to farsightedness.
How can we reverse the myopia epidemic?
Researchers and experts on eyesight have developed a rule-of thumb.
After 20 minutes working on a screen
Take a break of at least 20 seconds
Spend at least 2 hours a day outdoors
Additional smart rules for parents and teachers to prevent myopia and other eye problems are:
Young children (< 6) should not work more than 20-30 minutes a day on a screen.
The SmartBoards in classrooms should be turned off regularly.
DiScoro writes about inquiry-based learning, digital resources, and ways to encourage higher-order thinking. We focus on STEM education and the use of technology.
This time we write about Technology & Design as a school subject or project for students (grade 6 to 10). In several countries Technology and Design has become a school subject.
Most commonly students work on a task during more than one hour. The tasks are interdisciplinary and require many different skills: planning, sketching, creativity, safety, use of tools, research , construction, experimentation etc.
Technology is not limited to the use of digital technology. Technology & Design tasks have a strong practical component and aim at problem solving skills. By nature the tasks are often low floor-high ceiling tasks. This implies that it is clearly understandable what the goal is, all students are able to get started (low floor). At the same time the tasks offer enough challenges and opportunities to dive deeper both in creativity as well as in complexity (high ceiling).
To make a plan is usually a step in the process. It is up to the teacher to ask for a report of the process or not. This can be written, visual, oral, with the use of multi-media (photos, video) or a combination.
Topics that could be part of Technology & Design are