Explore the bigger picture of our technological world, which goes beyond the charging of our devices.
Explore different ways that our technology uses energy. Your students will first play a game to compare the obvious energy use of different appliances, and then investigate the hidden energy impact of social media, cell phones and cryptocurrencies. They will use critical and reflective thinking skills to write an opinion piece about energy use and cryptocurrencies.
Each day we charge our devices so we can use apps and create social media posts, often without considering that these apps, posts, and data storage use energy to take a physical journey around the world. In addition, data is kept in mega data storage centres where it is saved, processed, and the data and apps disseminated. Often the energy source used in this process is fossil fuels.
Hyperscale data centres are being built all around the world and contain IT products and tens of thousands of servers and hardware. This is in part a response to a rapid growth in cloud computing, SaaS (Software as a service where software is licensed on a subscription basis and centrally hosted), e-commerce, gaming and video services. Many large tech companies, owning and operating these hyperscale data centres, are responding to the climate crisis with commitments to use green energy and sustainable business practices.
With the increase in information flow and connectivity in our world, we need to be discerning about how to interpret the information. Greenwashing is when a business makes incorrect or misleading claims about its sustainable initiatives. But many companies are honestly striving to be sustainable by switching to renewable energy sources and adopting other sustainable practices. The challenge is to differentiate between the two. A sustainable company will share proof to support its sustainability claims and targets and will be transparent and honest about its progress in reaching these targets.
We want to ensure that we’re providing activities your class will enjoy. Please let us know what you think about this activity by leaving us your feedback.