BC Tomorrow seriously examines Humanities relationship with Planet Earth by addressing societies understanding of the three pillars of sustainable development: environment, economy and human activity. As populations grow and resource demands increase, land use pressures will continue to increase. Adapting to climate change is becoming increasingly important. Is the landscape unlimited in its ability to function as more human activity occurs? Can humanity do whatever they want, wherever they want and expect our natural systems to maintain their ability to provide the goods and services many parts of our economy, society and environment depend on for future generations?
Our free, online project give students the opportunity to use real data to address real issues in their own watersheds, regions and communities. Students examine how our activities impact the land – they can see for themselves how human activity impacts planet earth by examining the impacts our activities have had on their own regions, communities and watersheds. The main driver of BC Tomorrow is our innovative and engaging land use simulator. With cutting-edge GIS map technology, our simulator is a little like a time machine. Students look back in the past to watch how the landscape has changed. Then they move into the future and see how the land could look if we keep doing what we are doing given current trends. Students then apply their learning, adjust the levers, and see how their own ideas and solutions potentially impact the future. Our approach is to put the tools into students’ hands, give them the opportunity to learn, share, solve problems and come up with solutions to address local issues. Applicable at multiple grades and with an ability to be incorporated from multiple perspectives, our learning tools are powerful. BC focused, instructional videos that can be used as stand-alone lessons or support learning in other subjects and the ability to include field observations are other components of our project. In this session, using GoToMeeting, teachers will watch a live presentation and then be shown how to access and use BC Tomorrow. They will have time to practice with the learning tools and teacher friendly lesson templates. A cohost will be available during the presentation to help with questions. A pre-recorded presentation and video tutorials will be available for those who experience tech difficulties. The pre-recorded materials will also be made available for teachers as follow-up and support after the presentation.
Several elements of BC’s redesigned curriculum are addressed when educators use BC Tomorrow with their 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 allows people to learn about human/environment interactions at work in watersheds. Next, they set goals (inquire), make plans based on their learning, run scenarios in an attempt to achieve their goals, and use the 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 uses a holistic set of indicators while also accounting for cumulative effects 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 three-part learning project. In collaboration with the Board of Directors, business and educator colleagues, Dave has been developing BC Tomorrow for use in BC’s Education system. BC Tomorrow’s learning tools are powerful. Learners incorporate multiple curricular and core competencies while interactively investigating issues as they use real data to address real issues regarding the sustainability of their own communities, watersheds and regions.