getting creative with shared resources ..

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Sustainability and environmental education

Recently we were invited to join Se-ed’s National Sustainable Schools Conference at London Zoo to run a workshop around “how schools can become more sustainable and creative with shared resources.” Delegates at the conference included teachers and representatives from primary and secondary schools as well as students of sustainability and staff from local councils.

Through our workshop, we used a series of games and co-creation techniques, to inspire the attendees to think differently about the resources around them and spark new opportunities that shared resources can bring for them and their school.

Alongside describing how Ecomodo delivers new opportunities for schools to fundraise and get equipped through shared resource, we encouraged participants to consider the value of sharing both economically and environmentally, why re-use and collaborative consumption are so important in a the broader context of sustainability; and how schools can act as a catalyst to spread good behaviour throughout their community.

For the session we asked the group to think about how ecomodo can work, not just in the context of their school community, but across all the different communities they as individuals belong to (their neighbourhood, friends, family, clubs etc). We wanted to broaden their thinking to “what local shared resources means” as well as instill the idea that through adopting a new behaviour within one community it enables it to easily spread to others.

Our first game was to uncover the assets of each individual in the room. We asked them to put on the wall at least 3 assets (everyday goods, skills or spaces) they might lend as well as something they may like to borrow. Quickly making these assets visible using post-its immediately gave rise to impromptu discussions around what people could do – even if they just had access to the items on the wall.

“Oh a shredder – now that would be useful”

Next, with a couple of volunteers, we played some further games to show how using Ecomodo to build a community and make resources you’re willing to share visible, can spark a whole host of new opportunities for different activities.

Near the end of the session, we asked the participants to put their “school community” hat on and break out into smaller groups to brainstorm this question:

“If we only had .. we could ..”

We wanted them to conjure up new types of projects to engage students, using action based learning, purely inspired through utilising borrowed assets.

And here are some of the ideas that came out of the session:

• Night vision equipment for a project to understand local wildlife to see what comes through the school at night.

• Gardening equipment to understand food and growing

• Costumes & props to re-enact moments in history

• Outside spaces to use as a different space from the classroom

• Specimens from zoos for biology projects & African artefacts for cultural projects

• Sewing machines to learn about recycling and upcycling

• Meteorological equipment for geography and learning about the weather

• Solar panels & wind turbines for science and energy projects

And lots of skills including: willow weaving, story tellers, drivers with transport, singing workshops, artists & craft

We will be shortly running this workshop again at Se-ed’s National Sustainable Schools Conference second event in Leicester on 30 November.

……….

Click here to find more information about how schools can use Ecomodo to fundraise, get equipped and save money and share resources with other schools locally.

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