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Defining the Need for Students to Engage in Media Production

Page history last edited by Richard Beach 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Engaging students in media production to address the climate crisis also engages them in imaginative/critical thinking to portray alternative future actions or scenarios for addressing climate change. For example, students respond to and create cl-fi videos narratives or artwork/music portraying characters or people in future worlds engaging in adaptation and mitigation practices, for example, generating alternative clean energy options. 

          Adolescents respond to videos on the need to address climate change (Ballantyne et al., 2016; Ojala & Lakew, 2017: Leiserowitz et al., 2020). Their engagement leads to their producing participatory videos (PVs) in classrooms/projects to communicate the need to address climate change (Gold et al., 2015; Harness & Drossman, 2011; Karahan & Roehrig, 2014), resulting in their enhanced activism (Littrell et al., 2019; 2020; Walsh & Cordero, 2019). Students may employ videos to create digital stories to portray and envision themselves engaging in actions related to addressing the climate crisis (Jiang et al., 2019; Pileggi & Morgan, 2017; Smith et al., 2019; 2021). They may begin with narratives about themselves, noting instances of climate change effects, leading to narratives about the need for larger communal actions (Ganz, 2007; Pileggi & Morgan, 2017).

          Students can also employ digital visualization tools that portray climate change effects, including photography/art, digital mapping, or infographics (goo.gl/4dgv23). For example, young people created “Polar Army” artwork (www.polararmy.org) portraying their concern about climate change (Madder, 2017). In addition, students employed digital tools to portray issues of renewable energy production, employing Glogster for generating multimodal posters to showcase their knowledge of renewable energy sources (Castek & Dwyer, 2018). Young people are also creating art as media for demonstrating perceptions of climate change, as evident in the Art for Adaptation project that engages students in using art for transformational learning involving a change in, with, and through art (Bentz, 2020). 

          Through the experience of creating art, students reflect on how they are using their art to communicate their concerns about the climate crisis. Students also employ digital visual images and socio-spatial mapping (Bentz, 2020; Bentz et al. 2021; 2019; Bentz & O’Brien, 2019; Cone et al., 2012; de Sherbinin et al. 2019; Jocson, 2016). 

Youth are also creating and performing music to convey their perceptions of climate change (Wodak, 2017), as evident in their engagement with The Climate Music Project and The Global Climate Change Music Project YouTube Channel. For example, in one course, college students created videos of their performances, leading the instructors to note that “Clearly the most rewarding aspect of the class is the use of music as a medium for climate change education. Each student is required to provide the class with a YouTube or other music video link from an artist or group regarding climate change, the environment, and/or the need for political and personal responsibility regarding the planet” (Snow & Snow, 2010, p. 64, quoted in Wodak, 2017).

          Youth also engage in critical thinking about how they respond to and employ social media to acquire and communicate about climate change. Of 5,844 college students, 89% accessed news from social media; 76% from online newspapers; and 55% from news feeds (Head et al., 2018). Given their dependence on social media for information on climate change, they may be more likely to acquire misinformation on climate change topics (Mitchell et al., 2020).  Among social media users, younger generations stand out for engagement with content about the need to address global climate change (Field, 2021; Napawan, Simpson, & Snyder, 2017; Tyson et al., 2021). For example, they share social media posts on Twitter using #climatecrisis #climatechange. In addition, young people have employed social media to engage in exchanges on the topic, “global warming is a hoax,” (Andersson & Ohman, 2016). However, while they often voice alternative perspectives in their interactions, they may not adopt certain critical perspectives, suggesting the need for classroom instruction to apply criteria to ensure sharing and vetting of different perspectives (Thomas et al., 2021). Young people also employ social media for organizing and promoting demonstrations and strikes, for example, the School Strike 4 Climate protests (Boulianne et al., 2020) associated with engaging in “connective action” mediated through digital interactions (McLean & Fuller, 2016).





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