Story telling is a powerful learning tool. When stories are connected to familiar places, the experience for learners is further enhanced. Many students have stories to tell based on their experiences with familiar places. Therefore, what we do on the land can impact people’s stories. BC Tomorrow is an innovative set of learning tools that give students the opportunity to engage in the story as they apply learning to their own watersheds, regions, and communities.
In this workshop, teachers will be guided through BC Tomorrow and have a chance to work with the learning tools and see how they may be used to support student learning in their classrooms.
With BC Tomorrow students can see for themselves the impacts human activities have on the land. Our free, online, land use simulator uses cutting-edge GIS mapping technology and functions like a time machine. Students can look back in time, jump to the future and then apply their learning, adjust the levers, and see how their own ideas and solutions could impact the future – a future they stand to inherit! Our approach puts the tools into students’ hands and gives them the opportunity to learn, share, solve problems and come up with solutions aimed at a sustainable future. Applicable at multiple grades and with an ability to be incorporated from multiple perspectives, BC Tomorrow is powerful. Ready-to-use lesson templates, BC focused instructional videos, engaging student-led quests, an ability to include field observations, and a points system are other engaging components in BC Tomorrow.
Several elements of BC’s redesigned curriculum are addressed when educators use BC Tomorrow with students:
a) Core Competencies: Communication, Critical and Creative thinking and Personal Responsibility as users observe, share and work to come up with solutions for a sustainable future.
b) Inquiry Based learning - The simulator provides opportunities to learn about some of the human/environment interactions at work in watersheds. Then, users set goals (inquire), make plans based on their learning, run scenarios in an attempt to achieve their goals, and use a set of environmental and socio-economic indicators to help evaluate the results. They then have the opportunity to either adjust their goals or adapt their plans. Plans can take many different approaches such as: advocates for a particular sector, group plans, balanced/sustainable plans, or plans arrived by consensus and forwarded to the community via students/class initiatives.
c) First Peoples Principles of Learning – Our project is consistent with elements of First Nations Principles of learning. With the simulator, students are able to observe for themselves the interconnectedness of natural systems as they examine the past and consider the future as part of their decision-making processes. The simulator’s holistic set of indicators also accounts for cumulative effects of other land uses to help students evaluate the results of their scenarios and plans.
d) Human-Nature relationships - BC Tomorrow uses socio-economic and environmental indicators to measure the impact of human activities on the land.
e) Project based learning - BC Tomorrow can be the anchor for projects that focus on human, economic, and environmental interactions on the land. The learning tools are suitable for elementary, middle, and high school social studies and science classes (while also incorporating math, communications, collaboration and their own values). The holistic, interconnected perspectives provide learners with an ability to apply their learning from multiple subject areas and from multiple perspectives at multiple grade levels.
Upper Elementary, Middle School, Junior and Senior High Educators
Dave Ramsay is an experienced BC Science Educator. While developing Watershed Sustainability curriculum, he discovered Alberta Tomorrow's powerful learning project. In collaboration with the Board of Directors, business and educator colleagues, innovators and leaders, Dave has been developing BC Tomorrow for use in BC’s education system. BC Tomorrow’s student-centered learning tools are powerful. Learners incorporate multiple curricular and core competencies as they use real data to address real issues regarding the sustainability of their own communities, watersheds, and regions.
Karen has been an integral contributor to BC Tomorrow. Her experience with media and technology has helped our project immensely. She is an excellent co-host.