Ecomedia Literacy: Principles and Practices

This short article offers practical insights and strategies for incorporating ecomedia literacy into media education, addressing the urgent need to foster environmental consciousness and media engagement in today’s interconnected world. By presenting a diverse array of educational activities and methods, it equips educators and learners with tools to navigate and critically evaluate the complex relationships between media, ecology, and society.

Make a One-minute Eco-film

In this activity, students are encouraged to produce a one-minute eco-film using the “remoscope” technique, capturing a static view of something in nature. This creative exercise prompts students to contemplate how the media portrays “nature” while embracing the concept of “slow media,” fostering a deeper connection with their subject.

Nature Rx Pt. 1: Humorous Promo for Outdoors

Synopsis: “One lost man, longing for the apocalypse and crippled by modern life, finds an answer… a humorous and obvious solution he was missing all along. Having fun again, feeling sexy with his wife, wild, peaceful and free, this man offers a good time prescription for our busy world. Warning: this prescription may lead to spontaneous euphoria. For euphoria lasting more than 4 hours, check work email and consult your doctor.” This can be used to explore discourses about nature and wilderness, humor, and the language of pharmaceutical advertising.

Toys R Us vs. Outdoor Education

This 2013 “mockumentary” ad for Toys R Us shows a group of school kids being taken on a field trip to the forest. The kids are shown to be bored and disinterested until the trip leader announces that they are actually going to Toys R Us. This provides a rich discussion for how different environments are portrayed. You can can compare the framing of the natural world versus the the environment of the toy store and how they are represented as distinct. You can also discuss which provides more education, excitement, and fulfillment, according to Toys R Us and our own lived experience. This can also be used to discuss the issue of nature deficit disorder.

Outdoor Education – Toys R Us Parody

This should be shown along with the Toys R Us ad. This short grassroots video responds to Toys R Us by showing the benefits of outdoor education. The discourses around the benefits of outdoor education can be compared to how it is represented in the Toys R Us ad.