Welcome to the Carrot Revolution's edition of the Art Ed 2.0 Carnival of Blogs Green Friday event. If this is the first Green Friday Blog you're reading, be sure to check out these other blogs today:

Today we're all taking a stab at answering the question "How might we use art or design to promote a healthy environment and a peaceful, sustainable world?"

I have a two part answer that includes both film and video. Although it sounds like a natural pairing, these responses are entirely unrelated.

Green Video

As a video teacher, its hard not to jump to video as an answer. And why not? On a near daily basis, I find myself advocating for integrating video into curriculum, and teaching stand alone video classes, as teaching media literacy as a 21st century skill. In our media saturated environment, it is critical that students must learn not only to decode and deconstruct the daily barrage of commercials and corporate driven narratives, but to be able to create their own stories. The quote that I keep coming back to is from Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals:

Lacking communication, I am in reality, silent.

In order to be heard, students need to learn effective communication skills. Skills that will help them cross the divide between the the millions of poorly constructed and unwatched youtube videos towards a wider audience. Its an amazing thing today that some of my third graders have had their videos viewed more times than anything that I had produced throughout most of my career.

This is why one of my proud accomplishments this year has been working with Linda Sills of EARCOS to help build a mini Global Issues Film Festival for the annual GIN Student Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. Student GIN's are an important way for students to take ownership of global issues, and learning to make their own contributions. Based on ideas suggested by J.F. Rischard in his book High Noon: 20 Global Issues and 20 Years to Solve Them, Global Issues Networks coordinate local efforts in global collaborations.

In an effort to inspire action, student participants created videos to inspire action and raise awareness about environmental and other global issues. Our GIN club at the Shanghai American School helped out by creating a Public Service Announcement About Creating Public Service Announcements:

In addition, we created this sample PSA about overfishing:

Finally, Dennis Harter, the high school Technology and Learning Coordinator at the International School Bangkok included this powerful student video for inspiration, a great motivator for students who think that they can't do anything to change the world:

The response was terrific- we had about 30 videos covering all kinds of issues from students all over the Asia region. You can see the results here.

Green Film

Serendipity has always played a big part in the construction of this blog, and today is no exception. Of course in the middle of writing the earlier part of the post, I stumbled across this this great post from Photojojo: Develop Film using Coffee and Vitimin C! This may seem more 'orangy-brown' than 'green'... but remember that if you're using coffee and oranges to develop your film, you're not using those nasty (and expensive) chemicals that you need to pay to have carted off your school property anyway!

Apparently, you still have to use fixer, but at least you can dump the developer (in an ecologically responsible way). I thought this was too good to be true (I even checked to make sure this wasn't posted on April 1st), but to allay my concerns, I found this flickr pool of "Caffinol Photos". Can't wait to try this out- I just hope I can get all the ingredients in China...

Well, I'm feeling my morning cuppa calling me just thinking about the deliciousness in which these little gems were brewed. Excuse me, folks, time to grab some of my favorite fair trade developer. Happy green friday!

Update: My colleague Ben Holder tells me that the most toxic issue around developing film is the silver halides that the developer pulls off the film.  So while we're saving ourselves one part of the chemical process by going au natural in the developing, the worst part is left intact.  So this process is only slightly greener- its still pretty yucky brown in general. 


  1. learningIT said...
    Great GIN videos DG!
    Chan Bliss said...
    Nice post David,
    Next year the Florida Art Education Associations State conference is on being green. Your Green Friday blog has some great green information. I gotta try to develop film in coffee. I know in the past I couldn't develop film without caffeine but I never thought of putting film in it.
    Redwing said...
    Carrot Revolution kicking ass! Great post!
    dsgran said...
    @Frank- Thanks! I'm really proud of what the students come up with- I'd love to convince my GIN students to take my film class... but they'd have to decide not to gradute. Bummer.

    @Chan- There's a lot you can develop with caffine. Lesson plans, project ideas...

    @Redwing- Thanks, Old Man! I should have invited you to put up a post about green sailing... but what could be more green than taking out a sailboat for the day?
    Theresa McGee said...
    I love how you combined critical thinking about environmental issues with digital media. You have a model classroom for 21st century learning!
    craigr said...
    Great "How to" video from your students. I'm going to show this to students in my digital media class in 2 weeks as inspiration for their final project.
    dsgran said...
    Thanks Craig! Please do have them leave comments on the youtube page for my students if they're so inclined.
    Redwing said...
    That video about how to make a PSA is something I am going to use next year. And the Lost Generation piece is too cool for words. I'm going to use it in my AP Language class in an analysis of argument and word choice exercise.

    And this whole post has me thinking about my research paper writing process. My 11th graders are just finishing up their research papers and we all couldn't be more bored! Something has got to change!

    I just took two Professional Developments about technology: one on creating podcasts (hello garageband) and one on blogging. Today and this weekend I am going to have the kids rewrite the research paper to include some kind of tech component - and not just putting their paper onto the web. Some kind of interactivity. If you have any suggestions, let me know (you too, fellow Carrot Commenters).
    Redwing said...
    I just put T McGee's blog in my G-Reader!
    Redwing said...
    Sorry, I meant, rewrite the research paper requirements/format, not rewrite the papers they already have. Yikes. That would be so mean!
    LearningIT said...
    I have linked the vids on my wiki. Will leave some comments via YouTube for them too!
    dsgran said...
    @Theresa- Thank you so much. It does help that 4/5 of my classes are technology based! I'm still trying to find balance though- too much technology can distance us from the artistic process, I think.

    @Redwing- Great! I didn't even realize you were teaching AP classes now. Glad that is of some help to you. I think that constructing videos is an important way of making a moving argument - I think some of the other student videos on the GIN bear that out as well. I find that students often think they're getting off easy by writing scripts instead of essays- and realize that its indeed more work for all the planning and constructing a narrative around a central concept. However, I think they get a lot out of that process and usually enjoy the new approach.
    Anonymous said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    Research Papers Writing said...
    Many institutions limit access to their online information. Making this information available will be an asset to all.
    Anonymous said...
    Wonderful blog, i recently come to your blog through Google excellent knowledge keep on posting you guys.

    Dissertation services
    Dissertation writing

Post a Comment