Embedding sustainability into the new computer science curriculum for English schools
Pucher, Jonathan (2016)
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The primary goals of this study are to: embed sustainable concepts of energy consumption into certain part of existing Computer Science curriculum for English schools; investigate how to motivate 7-to-11 years old kids to learn these concepts; promote responsive ICT (Information and Communications Technology) use by these kids in their daily life; raise their awareness of today’s ecological challenges. Sustainability-related ICT lessons developed aim to provoke computational thinking and creativity to foster understanding of environmental impact of ICT and positive environmental impact of small changes in user energy consumption behaviour. The importance of including sustainability into the Computer Science curriculum is due to the fact that ICT is both a solution and one of the causes of current world ecological problems. This research follows Agile software development methodology. In order to achieve the aforementioned goals, sustainability requirements, curriculum requirements and technical requirements are firstly analysed. Secondly, the web-based user interface is designed. In parallel, a set of three online lessons (video, slideshow and game) is created for the website GreenICTKids.com taking into account several green design patterns. Finally, the evaluation phase involves the collection of adults’ and kids’ feedback on the following: user interface; contents; user interaction; impacts on the kids’ sustainability awareness and on the kids’ behaviour with technologies. In conclusion, a list of research outcomes is as follows: 92% of the adults learnt more about energy consumption; 80% of the kids are motivated to learn about energy consumption and found the website easy to use; 100% of the kids understood the contents and liked website’s visual aspect; 100% of the kids will try to apply in their daily life what they learnt through the online lessons.