My students in Tackling a Wicked Problem engaged in their first project on Friday of last week when they participated in the Climate Strike. They decided that instead of coming to class, they would pick up trash around the PSU campus. The featured photo on this post is from Kincaid, Cody, and Calvin who went to the Secret Beach (is it really secret if everyone knows where it is?) along the Pemigewasset River in Holderness and picked up the trash aftermath of Thursday night’s party. They picked up a LOT of trash. We will discuss the project in class tomorrow so we can determine as a group whether we think the project was effective or not.
The students will start working on their second project tomorrow in class. The project is called “Improving the Climate Change Information Environment” and is designed to address misunderstandings about climate change. I created a web site for the project and will be excited when the students have produced material to be added to the site. I adapted the idea for this assignment from Mike Caulfield’s Digital Polarization Initiative. I really like how Mike described this initiative and used his words in my description of the project:
Bad information about climate change is everywhere, and many common searches on the web return misinformation. We can think of this situation in terms of the “information environment” about climate change. Bad or poor quality information is “information pollution” that degrades the information environment we all share. We don’t have to accept this situation as inevitable. We can, as students and scholars, make the information environment better.
The project is due October 16. After that, students will work on designing and implementing their third project. This last project of the semester will be entirely of their choice and design.
I like the progression of these projects. The first impacts the physical environment. The second impacts the digital environment with the hopes of impacting the physical environment through education and information. I hope the students learn valuable lessons from these very different first two projects that they can apply to the third project.
I am currently Professor of Digital Media at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH. I am also the current Coordinator of General Education at the University. I am interested in game studies, digital literacies, open pedagogies, and generally how technology impacts our culture.