A Media Studies Guide: Miyazaki, Humans and The Environment

An ETEC 531 project, made by Jamie Ashton and Brian Haas under the supervision of Lori Macintosch.
[Masters of Educational Technologies, University of British Columbia]


I just finished up this project in collaboration with Brian and we were both extremely pleased with how it came out. We went into the project a few weeks ago with quite a clear idea of what we wanted this course to look like and its turned out better than we expected. It’s filled with media skills students can benefit from as well as using it as a space to talk about conservation and other issues in a lighthearted and approachable real-world way (we hope!). I’ve decided to put this up on my website as a part of my MET e-portfolio, but also that it could be accessed online and used in classrooms or as a fun guide for driven-students. Below is a short exert from both the Teacher’s Guide and the Student’s Guide to give you an overview of what this curriculum entails and the full curriculum is available as a free download in PDF form below. If you end up using it, please do get in touch and let us know how it went! Our contact details are in the PDF guides below.

– Jamie


For Teachers:

Welcome to our Media Study Guide, an open source mini-curriculum developed for students aged 16-19, in year/grades 11 and 12. It can easily be used or adapted for younger or older age groups though, depending on your educational goals and purposes for using this curriculum. The purpose of this media study guide is to assist students in developing skills and abilities that will help them become confident and contributing members of the digital society in which we live. Specifically, students will learn how to both read and create media of their own.  As students work their way through the various activities and assignments they will critically analyze media content, while identifying the underlying ideological and political messages which are embedded. Finally, they will create their own media content that conveys messages and meanings that are significant to them. We have selected environmental concern and the human-nature relationship as the subject matter of the media being studied and created, as this is a topic of particular importance in our current global society. This study guide therefore has a two-tiered focus, explicitly teaching media skills and implicitly engaging with discourse about environmental issues and protection. To achieve this, students will be engaging with a media studies case study that is approachable and entertaining for them. This means that the students will have a framework to work from when asked to undertake their own media studies project. Through a series of tutorials, activities and discussions, they will be given an introduction to technical and analytical skills needed in order to produce their own multi modal media content.  We hope to hand over a succinct and useful learning experience for the 21st century student that can be used as is, or adapted to suit other syllabuses, by educators interested in integrating the important subject of media studies into their teaching. This curriculum has purposely been designed to not be embedded in any current syllabus, but rather to be integrated into a variety of existing ones in various educational contexts. It can easily be included in classes discussing media, environments and society in formal or informal learning environments, or could be a project done at home over the weekends.

For Students:

Welcome! We’re going to keep this short because we know that most of you have probably just scrolled through the videos directly. To those of you who are still here, though, this is just a short introduction to gain an understanding of what this media studies curriculum is all about. This is a short set of modules that will show you some of the inner workings of the media that we consume on a daily basis. Simply put, you’ll learn how media actually works, how it’s crafted, how it influences you, how to assess it, and how to make it yourself. Your teacher will not be standing at the front of the classroom giving you endless facts that you need to remember, but you will be responsible for teaching yourself and working with your peers and friends to get information instead. Luckily, this is going to be an easy and fun learning process, a lot of which will involve you watching some stuff, thinking about that stuff and making your own media stuff. More specifically, we’re going to have you watch some videos, answer some questions and get your mind thinking about how the media you watch is being shaped and working to shape you. Finally, you will have a chance to put it all together by creating your own media production on a topic that is interesting and important to you and the world around you.

If you would like to look at, download or try out this curriculum at home or in your classroom, please download the PDFs below. There is a Students Guide, Teachers Guide and Assessment resource available.