lunes, 18 de enero de 2010
Science and great TECHNOLOGY for students learning
Good Science, Great Technology Will Drive Student Engagement
* By Chris Riedel
Ed Begley Jr., from the Planet Green series Living with Ed
It's up to America's teachers to get the country's youth involved in critical environment issues. But that's not going to happen if teachers aren't delivering the message in a way that engages students, according to Ed Begley Jr., who delivered the opening general address at this year's FETC conference in Florida. "We have to speak in a language young people understand. And that language," he said, "is technology."
The Critical Need for Environmental Awareness
In his opening keynote address at the FETC 2010 conference Wednesday in Orlando, FL, Ed Begley Jr. led with a joke: "I've been doing this for a long time," he said, referring to his life as an activist for sustainable living. "And I can promise you, it was not cool in 1970, not at all cool to be riding around on a bike. My bellbottoms kept getting caught in the chain, the wind resistance from my Afro really slowed me down; it was a different era in 1970."
"But," he reflected as the laughter died down, "we've certainly come a long way. And you are the heroes out there, our educators ... our teachers and administrators who support environmental education and are embracing new and exciting technologies" to help solve the problems we face today.
Begley--an actor, author, environmentalist, and host of Discovery's Planet Green series Living with Ed--promised to speak more about how he became interested in environmental activism and the quest to live a greener life, but only after addressing a critical question: "What's really at stake? And why are a lot of people embracing good environmental stewardship?"
What's at stake, according to Begley, is a range of environmental issues that, in spite of our differences, most of us tend to agree on. "We face serious problems with air pollution," he said, citing examples from Houston to Los Angeles to Mexico City to Beijing. "I think we can all agree with that.... And we face big problems with water pollution, [as well as] threats to a host of wildlife species." The threats are real, he continued, and most of them are not controversial.
Begley shared the story of an event in the late '60s that changed the way he viewed environmental issues forever. "One of the reasons I got involved in this in 1970 was because of something that happened a year earlier," just outside of Cleveland. "Back in 1969," he said, "the Cuyahoga River caught fire. Now, I don't know about you," he quipped, "but I think it's bad when rivers catch fire. It's a bad sign." So bad, in fact, that he was inspired to do something about it, he said. So he went out and bought an electric car. And that, he said, was the beginning of a decades-long journey into living a more environmentally responsible life.