Monday, February 1, 2010

What Could My School Do?

Today in class, after discussing the different points and debates brought up in Alex Werbach's book Strategy for Sustainability, we dabbled on the question "what could the School of Journalism here at the University of Oregon do to be more sustainable socially, culturally, environmentally and economically?" After talking in groups, we realized that there is so much that could be done that would increase sustainability in all areas.

Our group talked specifically about the Internet and all the resources that it provides. We collaborated and thought up a list of ways the school could use the Internet to be more sustainable.
Well, we could turn all our assignments in online.
we would then save on paper (environment), printing expenses and time (economic). Not only that, but we could have a class blog where we show our papers, projects and assignments, that way the whole class can benefit from each others knowledge and work (social and culture) and if you connect it will twitter or other social media, then other people that aren't in the class can look at the work too (social and culture). Employers would have easier access to more students work and people all over the world can gain the knowledge expressed in the students' work.

We also thought, that teachers could hold their office hours using online social media. That way they don't waist their time waiting to see if students will show up and students wont have to commute (environment) or take the time to travel to office hours to wait in line to ask a simple question (cultural). Also, instead of having guest speakers commuting to meet the class, they could be skyped in, saving on gas money (economic) and traveling time (culture and environment).
And even more, how much do we, students, spend a year on books? A LOT! And how often do we feel completely gypped when we sell them back? ALL THE TIME!
If most of these books were available for us to purchase and view online then we would all save a lot of money and paper (environment and economic).

Some teachers and classes have already made tremendous efforts to use the Internet as a means of sustainability by putting the syllabus, lecture slides, and reading material online on the campus Blackboard website. But still, there is so much more that can be done. The Internet provides so many opportunities for people to be sustainable in different areas of their life and we need to start taking advantage of this huge resource.

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