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CT10A7000 Green IT and Sustainable Computing

0372184 Joonas Maksimainen

Green IT

Green IT is studing and practice of using computers and IT resources in more efficient and environmentally responsible way. Because use of computers and computing eat up lot of natural resources, from the raw materials needed to manufacture them, the power used to run them, and the problems of disposing them at end of life.

There are many ways to practice green IT which includes for example building computers with more environmentally friendly materials, designing them to be consume less energy, providing recycling programs to dispose of old systems, developing virtualization and cloud computing alternatives, and providing tips to businesses that want to go green.

References:

1.http://www.smallbusinesscomputing.com/testdrive/article.php/3855806/What-Is-Green-IT-and-Why-Should-You-Care.htm

2.http://www.greenitweek.org/what-is-green-it/

3.http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/6-charts-that-show-renewable-energy-and-efficiency-are-top-priorities-for-d

How to increase sustainability aspects in LUT CS/SWE programme

Basically what we could do first to increase sustainability aspects in LUT CS/SWE, is to increase the students awareness of green IT and sustainability. Then we can assure that students are aware of doing things and increasing sustainable aspects. For example if consumer doesn't know that product he bought is recyclable, why he would recycle it then. Awareness can be raised by offering certain courses like this one. Also lots of practical solutions and implementations can be teach to students in many IT courses, specifically in coding, when lecturers give coding examples and solutions, which cause only little burden to computers. Making too heavy programs for computers to complete causes increased need for processing power and energy.

The second thing we could do is to inspire people to design and make sustainable hardware and software solutions voluntarily and not only in courses. To inspire students and to get actual solutions, the university could do cooperation with local IT companies, which give certain coding task to complete. Not only this could be good exercise, but also give possibility to students to get themselves known to the IT companies. Moreover, if the solution is very efficient and increases sustainability in certain task, the solution could be used in practice by the target company or university.

Exam questions

1. Define Green IT and give 3 examples of practicing it.

This question is meant to ensure that student has at least read and learned something about the topic from books and seminars.

2. Why cloud computing is considered environmentally sustainable in IT and does it have any negative issues or challenges. If does, list and explain them briefly.

This is quite huge question, but because cloud computing has gained immensely interest as sustainable IT solution, students should understand, not only benefits but also possible negative issues or challenges of clouds. These are for example security issues. Deploying new sustainable technology may be green, but it can also cause problems.

3. Which one is more sustainable, change people who buy product or change product that people buy? Choose and explain why.

This is good exam question, because it puts students to think the situation from many ways and raises more interesting questions about choosing more effective sustainable action. Would it be more effective and sustainable to concentrate on teaching people to behave more sustainable way; by teaching them for example to buy less and wasting less energy when using products? Or making products more and more recyclable and production more resource efficient? Even though we could make 100% recyclable product, which is practically impossible, will people bother to recycle it. The question about products lasting long and how often people change cellphone or buy new computer was raised in the 3rd seminar. Of course both changing people and products are important, but this question puts students to critically think their options' pros and cons more closely.

4. Describe briefly three solutions to improve IT sustainability in universities and list what benefits they could offer.

This question is mainly for students to think and adapt their knowledge of the course material and seminars to practical situations. The knowledge is useless if you cannot utilize it.

Course work for missing Coursera diploma

The critical thinking means in short a clear and very reasoned thinking also involving critique. According to the Critical Thinking Community, the critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. The first reference is book called Critical Thinking: What Every Person Needs To Survive in a Rapidly Changing World by Paul Richard and Binker A. J. A. and it is good for understanding the overall meaning of critical thinking. Also the book offers several practical approaches to use critical thinking. The second is the website of Critical Thinking Community, which also offers different critical thinking methods and help inter alia for healthcare and several different school grades and teaching. The third offers very short and practical version of critical thinking but also critical reading, in which the website is concentrating.

The usefulness of these pages for the course is that students learn to separate different types of arguments from each other, and that way to observer comments of their fellow students in seminars. When students know how to think critically, they are more eager to make questions and comments to correct false statements. Also when learning to think critically, students are more observant about the books they read, and willing to find more proof to what they read.

The fourth and fifth reference give also useful information about argumentation, which is essential when doing presentation. Knowing how to convince others makes showing the proof more effective and makes detection of suspicious information easy. Also the most important thing is that when doing argumentation, students have their proof and references to show. In conclusion, with all these references students know how to criticize the information they receive and be observant what they say and read.

References:

1. Critical Thinking: What Every Person Needs To Survive in a Rapidly Changing World; Paul, Richard W.; Binker, A. J. A., Ed; 1990

http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED338557

2. http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/766

3. http://www.criticalreading.com/critical_thinking.htm

4. http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/crit_think/Chapter-Three-1.htm

5. http://www.wnc.edu/~kille/Fred/Eng101crtclthnkng.rtf

Missed lectures
20.02.2015