Posted by: csdailyblog | November 16, 2015

Get Inspired Film Festival – CS11 Style

The Reel Role of Technology in Nature

(This blog entry is brought to you by Conserve School Teaching Fellow Paul Nicoletti.)

In a nation where most young people own smart phones, tablets, and laptops, it is no surprise that technology has a large impact on their lives and their perception of the outdoors. As technology becomes an everyday part of our lives, understanding our relationship with it will only become more important for our personal health and for the health of our planet. Here at Conserve School the students talk about this relationship during community meetings and on a day to day basis. We confront questions about when it is inappropriate to be on your phone, or what spending too much time on technology looks like.

We know that there is no single answer to this question and that everyone has a different relationship with technology. Understanding this relationship begins by acknowledging the amount of time we spend with it and then finding a balance in our daily lives. At Conserve School, we look for new and innovative ways that technology can become a solution to the very challenges it creates.

Recently, Conserve School held the first ever GIFF (Get Inspired Film Festival). These creative films have an important place in the new conservation movement. There is a broad array of outdoor films that are available for free on websites like YouTube and Vimeo. When you do some research you can find outdoor films with a broad variety of cultural, environmental and scientific significance. These are the kinds of films that use sweeping panoramic shots and 1st person views that when combined with the right music will send chills down your back. There are many different reasons to find these films inspiring. It might be the thought of following outdoor athletes around the world as a photojournalist, or finding a new location to plan an adventure, or picking a new role model to look up to. Regardless, these films can bring together communities and help young people find an interest in something they had never thought to try before. As we move forward and start to address questions about technology and its role in our lives, we must make conscious decisions to spend time away from technology. We should also start to think about how technology can inspire experiences in nature.

Use the links below to watch the same films that we showed last weekend! You will find some pictures from the event following the video links.

Conserve School provides a semester-long immersion for high school students in environmental studies and outdoor activities that deepens their love of nature, reinforces their commitment to conservation, and equips them to take meaningful action as environmental stewards. Thanks to the generosity of Conserve School’s friends and its founder James Lowenstine all accepted students receive significant scholarship support.


  1. Thank you for arranging the film festival and sharing it with us on the blog! Can’t wait to watch the movies. I would like to pass along information about another fantastic movie (“An American Ascent”) and book (“The Adventure Gap – Changing the Face of the Outdoors”) that you may wish to consider incorporating into Conserve’s curriculum, or at least share with the students informally. The documentary and book (just out) are based on the true story of the first all African American team to attempt a summit of Denali. The producer and author, James Edward Mills, is on a quest to create a national movement to expose more people of color to the natural world and encourage them “to become stewards of environment and protectors of our wild places.” The film is being shown in private screenings around the country. I attended the first screening last month in Madison, and it was incredibly inspirational. James happens to live in my neighborhood, and if you would like to contact him, I’d be happy to try to help make that happen.

    Here is a link to more information:

    Thanks again!

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