Curated items can be found at: http://pearltrees.com/hcolson
When it comes to protecting the environment, storytelling is one of the greatest methods of striking the emotion in individuals needed to get them to make a difference. Sparking an emotion in the audience is one characteristic of storytelling that can be much more effective in convincing people to take action (Robin, 2013). As Katie Harrison (2014) pointed out in a blog post on “Digital Storytelling,” a narrative story telling a message you want to portray can be much more effective than posting a sign.” Adding images to that narrative can be even more powerful. Take, as an example, this television commercial about littering. Filmed as part of the “Keep America Beautiful” campaign in 1971, the advertisement was designed to get people to be more responsible for protecting the environment at the individual level, attempting to elicit action by individuals.
Find link at: http://youtu.be/j7OHG7tHrNM
Regardless of the symbolism of the “red man” having fast food garbage thrown at his feet by the “white man” and the obvious absence of the responsibility that industry and manufacturing companies had on large-scale pollution offenses, the ad campaign was very successful. 100,000 people were motivated in four months time to request information about reducing pollution. The campaign is attributed with getting people to reduce litter by as much as 88% in 300 communities in 38 states by 1983 (Ad Council, 2004, p. 7-8).
Bringing things forward to the 21st century, according to “About Our Community” information at The Story of Stuff project, “Five years and 40 million views later, we’re a Community of 500,000 changemakers worldwide, working to build a more healthy and just planet” (“Story of Stuff,” n.d.). The project uses a video narrator overlaying animated illustrations to tell the story of how the products we purchase all have an impact on our environment and how the results might not always be obvious.
Find link at: <a href=”http://youtu.be/Se12y9hSOM0″>http://youtu.be/Se12y9hSOM0</a>
The following is a short animated video encourages using eco-friendly Ganesh idols instead of non-biodegradable products that fill the rivers with products during a popular Ganesh Chaturhi festival in India where 100’s of thousands of idols are immersed in the rivers as a means of asking for a blessing of wealth and prosperity.
Find link at: http://youtu.be/iWzm58EPemU
As new modalities are developed, new opportunities are made available for engaging a new generation. Probably one of the more popular area for citizen engagement comes from online games for kids and incorporation of storytelling methods in class curriculum. “Storytelling appeals to children’s imaginations and emotions and helps make learning more meaningful. When children listen to stories, they create mental images that belong to them, connecting the content to something personally significant” (Goral & Gnadinger, 2006, p. 4).
PBSkids has a interactive game called eekoworld where you can create your own EekoCreature which lives in an environment that you choose. While your creature is moving around it may encounter choices about what happens is its world. There is an interactive game that has you look around a typical house to determine if there are things you can change to conserve resources like turning off the water or containing an oil spill in the garage. There are several other modules related to recycling, plants and animals and the future. Lesson plans for teacher are available, as well as activities that parents can do with their children as family. Community-based projects are included to cultivate stewardship of the land.
My creature’s world:
Frank Rose (2011) says, “…if stories themselves are universal, the way we tell them changes with the technology at hand. Every new medium has given rise to a new form of narrative” (p.1). A good example of this comes from a recent USC Anneberg Innovation Lab event called CRUNCH Hackaton: Transmedia Brading for Environmental Awareness. Teams of students came together to create “media experiences” to be used as transmedia storytelling to get the public more involved in environmental issues like air quality or access to parks. The winning project “…was a game for children, in which players build their own communities and raise their environmental awareness by planting, watering and fertilizing plants virtually” (Wang, 2013).
Using storytelling methods to involve the public in environmental education, whether from the corporate world or from a non-profit organization, has been recognized as a communication method that “…established a common ground among all participates and provides a faster method of establishing a social relationship” of which, hopefully, excites people to take action (Barker & Gower, 2010, p. 302). I expect that we’ll be seeing storytelling continued to be used as a means of getting a message across to an audience as we, as humans, respond to that kind of personalization.
Barker, R., & Gower, K. (2010). Strategic application of storytelling in organizations: Toward effective communication in a diverse world. Journal Of Business Communication, 47(3), 295-312. doi:10.1177/0021943610369782
Basu, S. (2010, September 3). 10 environment games that teach kids about earth, ecology & conservation. Makeuseof.com. Retrieved from http://www.makeuseof.com.
Goral, M., & Gnadinger, C. (2006). Using Storytelling to teach mathematics concepts. Australian
Primary Mathematics Classroom, 11(1), 4-8.
Harrison, K. (2014, February 5). Digital storytelling. katieharrison.org. Retrieved from http://katieharrison.org.
Ma, K., Liao, I., Frazier, J., Hauser, H., & Kostis, H. (2012). Scientific Storytelling Using Visualization. IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications, 32(1), 12-19. doi:10.1109/MCG.2012.24
Pitrelli, N. (2011). Science journalism and digital storytelling. JCOM: Journal Of Science Communication, 10(4), 1-2.
Public service advertising that changed a nation. (2004, September). The Advertising Council.
Robin, B. (2013). About digital storytelling: The 7 elements of digital storytelling. Digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu. Retrieved from http://digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu.
Rose, F. (2011, November 3). The art of immersion: Why do we tell stories? Wired.com. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com.
Wang, J. (2013, September 29). USC students compete in environmental hackathon. dailytrojan.com. Retrieved from dailytrojan.com.