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PlantLab: Urban Farms 40 Times More Productive than Open Fields A Dutch firm on the cutting edge of indoor agriculture estimates that producing food for the entire world could take place in a space far smaller than the area occupied by Holland, using just 10% of the water needed by traditional farms. The proposal is not without precedent – Japan already has one prototype urban farm that is 100 times more productive than farmers’ fields. Noting that the vast majority of people will live in cities in the coming decades, PlantLab suggests a solution that involves using existing basements and purpose-built structures for our future food production. This means less energy, space, time and water than conventional methods. Urban farming in controlled environments lets growers take full advantage of variables like custom lighting, using far-red LED lamps in this case that reduce moisture requirements for plants.

Learning Matters Online Welcome to Learning Matters, now part of SAGE Learning Matters books are now available to buy or inspect through the SAGE website. This dedicated Learning Matters’ page replaces the Learning Matters’ website and has been developed to help you find your way around the SAGE website. You can find Learning Matters titles of interest to you by browsing using the left navigation side bar.

Thwart the Grim-Reaper: #Ofsted reworks (Sep ’13) Here are some key Ofsted (September 2013) updates relevant to teaching and learning in the classroom. I have provided a summary of what will change for the teacher alone; ignoring all other updates. Any text in red, is crucial to ‘Thwart the Grim-Reaper’ from entering your classroom this academic year. My edible classroom gives deprived New York kids a reason to attend school Stephen Ritz is a teacher in New York’s deprived South Bronx district where he began a pioneering project to farm plants and vegetables indoors at Discovery High School. The school’s so-called “edible walls” gave birth to the Green Bronx Machine, a project that helps other schools in the US start their own agricultural programmes to teach children healthy eating, environmental awareness and life skills. As well as continuing his educational work in New York, Stephen travels the world promoting the value of growing fresh produce, both in schools and the wider community. The Green Bronx Machine was an accidental success.

Prezi vs Powerpoint « Classroom201X Best way to give a spectacular presentation? This was the first post I wrote about Prezi and it has remained popular. I’ve also written a post asking for suggestions using the tool, which you can find here. If you want to see some example Prezis I have embedded them into these posts: creativity, planning, any ideas? Flavour of the month (well, year) in terms of presentations, has been Prezi – an online presentation tool being held up as a being something that you can use to end the infamous “Death by Powerpoint”. I’ve seen loads of them online, and a few around the college where I work – so I thought I ought to give it a go – my attempts are here on this blog (last three entries).

Ofsted, Outstanding Teaching and the iPad If OFSTED were to walk into a lesson tomorrow they would see the following: Prior to the lesson students would have viewed an 8-10 min screencast introducing the topic. This resource would have been produced and sent via twitter to the students when appropriate.Students would have uploaded work required to Edmodo that is then assessed, annotated and sent back to students again prior to the lesson. Supermarkets: Is it the End of Empire? News that the ‘Big Four’ major British supermarkets are experiencing massive losses has become so ubiquitous in recent months it hardly seems newsworthy anymore. The most spectacular fall from glory has been Tesco’s – the retail behemoth that, at the height of its market domination, was present in every postcode in Britain and pocketed one in every seven pounds spent in the country. It recently reported a loss of £6.38 billion, the biggest loss in UK retail history. It is currently under criminal investigation by the Serious Fraud Office for fiddling its accounts while simultaneously being cross-examined by the Groceries Code Adjudicator for bullying its suppliers. Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s reported its first loss in nine years to the tune of £72 million, profits at Morrisons were down 52% and Asda recorded its worst performance in 20 years. So is the supermarket model here to stay, or will – and can – British shoppers eventually jump ship altogether?

UK supermarkets face mounting pressure to cut food waste British supermarkets are coming under increasing pressure to go further than rival Tesco to show shoppers what progress they are making in reducing food waste, as the government insists that such action should remain voluntary. Green campaigners have called on all major supermarkets to put an end to multi-buy deals and other marketing tools which result in customers wasting millions of tonnes of fresh food – much of it still edible – every year. The announcement on Monday by the UK's largest supermarket that it was dropping some food promotions after finding that two-thirds of produce grown for bagged salad is wasted – and revealing food waste data for its operations for the first time – was broadly welcomed.

First ever Food Surplus Summit taking place today Food industry explores how surplus food can feed people and change lives Follow the Summit on Twitter: #surplusfood We’re excited to be hosting the first ever surplus food summit, in partnership with the Food and Drink Federation, the British Retail Consortium and the Fresh Produce Consortium. We expect a great turn-out and look forward to meeting and engaging with all our guests. Wasting Food? It'll Cost You  By Don Willmott Most of us have become accustomed to sorting and recycling our trash, but how far are we willing to go with our recycling? Are we really ready to wrestle with rotting lettuce leaves and the remnants of last week's tuna noodle casserole? Every (successful) company is a service company Register now for the O’Reilly Design Conference, which will explore the evolving role of design in business and society along with the tools designers need to shape the next generation of products and services. Loosely defined, service is the relationship between consumer and company. There are traditional service companies, such as hotels and transportation companies, and their modern counterparts Uber and Airbnb. Then there are companies that are changing their identities from product companies to service companies, with varying degrees of success: for example, IBM, morphing from hardware to services, and Adobe, moving its software model to a cloud-based, subscription-based service. Whether you’re new to the game or established, almost any product today must have a service aspect. Why does this matter — and what does it mean for designers?

Media - News releases - Record breaking food donations as Britain digs deeper than ever (7 December, 2014) Tesco customers have donated a record number of meals during the fifth Neighbourhood Food Collection, as Brits prove to be more generous than ever before. 4.7 million meals were donated by Tesco customers, to be split between charity partners FareShare and Trussell Trust. The full total of meals donated to people in need since December 2012 is now at 21.5million, weighing in at over 9,000 tons. This includes permanent and local collections plus surplus food provisions.

Why is it that the disappearing high-street shops tend to be those that were previously thought of as essential? I find it most puzzling that the first shops to vanish from Britain's high streets are always the most useful ones. In Towcester, my local town in Northamptonshire, there is still a chemist, a Co-op, a pet shop, a stationer and a good butcher, but the greengrocer and the hardware shop have gone. It would once have been inconceivable for any decent-sized country town to be without these two establishments, but today they are often missing. Instead, there is a plethora of charity shops, arts and crafts establishments, health food emporia, and what have you, all of which one could quite happily live without. As was confirmed this week in a survey of the retail scene, many high streets convey the impression of a populace so decadent that it spends its time having its hair cut and its nails polished between visits to the betting shop and the pawnbroker. The disappearance of the high-street food retailer may be regrettable, but it is largely its own fault.

Save our communities from large supermarkets Across Britain, the high street is in decline. The effects ripple through our communities. A major factor in this decline is the relentless rise of large supermarkets. Supermarkets lead to local shops closing Over 80% of independent shops on our high streets have closed.[1] Our local butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers and bakeries are shutting down. Meanwhile, hundreds of new supermarkets are opening, and supermarkets like Tesco and Sainsbury’s are increasing the number of local convenience stores they own.

Related:  Sources of InformationChild UK