Plastics, Data and Me - a new approach to teaching sustainability with technology
Over the past decade I’ve had the privilege of working with a whole range of educational tools and methods for teaching sustainability and environmental science - from traditional classroom teaching, flipped learning, residential experiences, live media broadcasting, small group lecturing, remote tutoring, and, over the past two years, online learning platforms. Throughout all of these experiences I’ve observed, trialled-and-tested, pushed boundaries and made mental notes about what works and what doesn’t. I’ve seen how students respond with resilience, enthusiasm, passion, energy, creativity and innovation, and I’ve learned the best ways to harness and channel that for long-term learning success. I’ve had the pleasure of working with a complete mix of amazing students, of all ages, abilities, backgrounds, languages, interests and passions. And I’ve loved every minute of it.
It’s this wealth of experience that makes me so excited to be working today on the successful second year of Ellipsis Educate - a complete online, self-guided, interactive and cross-curricular education ecosystem focusing on real-world data gathering, community storytelling and learning methods - based on everything my students love best. With our course, students develop their own critical thinking skills, independent scientific discovery and questioning, as well as opportunities to reflect and critique their thinking, to analyse, to invent, to be creative and to challenge both themselves, their peers and the status quo. Over our first year we built a global community of youth ambassadors driven by real-world impact and the very tangible changes they created, which I hope will last them well into their future academic careers and beyond.
We have also benefitted from harnessing the current capabilities of AI and image technology, combined with software delivery being so much easier, accessible, and streamlined, to deliver a best-in-class professional system for students to use themselves. This allows them to contribute to our global datasets used by our professional scientific survey team, using the exact same technology, and speaking directly to the experts in real-time throughout the course. I was thrilled when 100% of students taking our courses, across 50 schools globally, said they felt like real scientists, that they felt part of a global community, that they had made an impact on their planet, and that they would sign up again.
Our platform at Ellipsis Earth is inspired by all my students past and present, and everything they brought to the table so enthusiastically and so respectfully. I’m determined to continue delivering inspiring content to more students across the globe, to support the next generation of changemakers in the best way possible.
If you want your students to be part of our global community, places for our October course are still available. Sign up now at www.ellipsis.earth/educate or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.