Student peer review

One of the powerful ways that classmates collaborate on Appropedia is through student peer review.

For example, Las Malvinas community center shade describes a student project to provide a community center in the Dominican Republic with durable shelter from sun and rain. Click the “discussion” tab and you arrive here, to see critical and constructive comments from two fellow students. Clearly they’ve followed useful steps they were given at well at using their own insights.

I don’t know which of our academic contributors began this practice, but I love the power of it. It gives students more chances to learn and to improve their work, to help each other to learn, while learning team skills of collaboration and constructive feedback.

Learning resources for post growth futures

Donnie Maclurcan writes about the learning needed for resilient communities, on the on the Post Growth Institute blog. Collective knowledge, he suggests, is key:

Voids in our individual skill-sets are actually critical to building harmonious communities. As Bill Kauth and Zoe Alawan say, “We need each other, and we need to need each other”… there is a great deal to be gained from more of our learning happening together, building shared resilience in the process.

He then discusses the range of skills we collectively need in resilient communities, in a “post growth future”. It looks to me like a list of articles that would be perfect for Appropedia. See Donnie’s post at Upskilling for Post Growth Futures, Together

Education search engine

I recently needed to search for academics in a particular field of sustainability. Standard web searches weren’t focused enough, so I looked for an education custom search – but couldn’t find one.

Now, I can easily search all .edu sites by putting site:.edu in Google. Or search all US, UK and Australian education domain sites by using site:.edu OR site:.ac.uk OR site:.edu.au in Google. But I wanted to search as widely as possible, so I built my own custom search engine.

This tool covers many countries, and many sites for universities and other educational institutions. It include universities from countries such as Canada, France and Bulgaria which don’t have education domains (e.g. Queens University is queensu.ca). So it was a fair bit of work, finding lists of universities, manipulating the layout and adding them to the search engine, but the result, for me, is a useful search tool.

Here it is. I hope it can be useful for someone else as well.


Note: you can also find this custom search easily by going to Appropedia and looking up “Education Search Engine“.

Don’t re-invent the wheel. Build a green knowledge base!

Students and professors: Don’t re-invent the wheel. Help build a green knowledge base for all


When students submit a project – even a very good one – it typically gets very little exposure. Another day, at another institution, another student or researcher works on the same question. How much more powerful would it be if each built on the work of the last?

Some teachers at universities – in languages as well as science and engineering – have been using Appropedia with their classes and getting great results. It’s inspiring to the students knowing that they’re creating work that will be used by others – including users of the XO-1 (the “$100 laptop”) – and they also learn more in the process.

We’d love to have much more of this, in English as well as other languages such as Spanish and Indonesian.

Can you suggest any courses or professors who would benefit from knowing about this option? Please let them know, and let the Appropedia community know!

I’ve just scratched the surface here – see our Service learning page for more info.

Looking forward to getting feedback, and hearing from interested academics and students.

I just posted this to the Green Group on LinkedIn – but you need to be logged in to view.