This article makes a case for the critical potential of media ecology frameworks to address the limits of the media literacy frameworks prevalent in visual culture art education pedagogies that focus on art education with digital materials. In this article, I articulate a brief history of the literacy metaphor in visual culture art education, before summarizing recent arguments advocating for a shift from media literacy to media ecology in critical digital pedagogies. I then examine my own digital curricular place-craft in the development of Crafting Digital Places, a Web-based teaching resource that played a part in a series of remotely taught summer camp programs focusing on critical digital place-craft. In this article, I aim to illustrate the critical and practical limits of engaging digital materials via the literacy metaphor. I also aim to show how a media ecology approach—framing digital systems as places with agentic material qualities—affords art educators distinctive potentials for critical practice and curriculum design.

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