Feedback on Media for Change

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Shelly Valdez is an educational consultant, focusing on indigenous science & worldviews of understanding science.

Feedback on Media for Change

Date Posted: 
2011-08-25 00:00

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The training was a wonderful opportunity for bringing educators and film & media makers together to learn from each other's worldview on education outreach through film/media. For the morning session, dividing each group up into professional areas was a positive move. As an educator it was good to see the conversations targeting various levels of education (primary, secondary, hirer education,...). It allowed all participants to gain new knowledge of how each level weaves among the other levels, or how each level is distinctively seperate (in some cases).

There were a few drawbacks to the morning sessions. The first drawback targeted the invited participants. The representation of educational levels was unbalanced. In some instances higher education monopolized the conversation. The second drawback targeted the intended outcomes (creating and advisement on curricula lessons and viewer guides). Allowing the agenda to be organic, shifted the intentions and goals of the morning session to education. Perhaps defining the targeted areas and providing some sort of visual/aide that encourages participants to keep on track with the topic area would work for the next time the group convenes; or using a facilitator to drive the group toward the intended outcomes (while still maintaining the organic style of dialogue).

During the afternoon session I was a little confused. I wasn't sure what was happening or what the intended outcomes were during the first part of the session. Some of the presentations didn't seem to fit within this environment. Again, while organic is an incredible strategy to use when working with a Native audience, there needs to be some type of strategy to help encourage the audience to stay within the intended goals (if there are intended goals in place). The last part of the afternoon session created a positive dynamic to learn from one another (educators and film directors). This was the important thrust of the meeting. There is more room to steepen this conversation and to learn from one another on the possibilities of how each area can  support the other. The time for this activity (shared knowledge) was too short.

One caution that I found in both morning and afternoon sessions is making sure individuals understand the intended envrionments. In the groups I participated in, one individual had their own explicit agenda and derailed the afternoon conversation because they 'monopolized' the activity with their own paradigm. While certain types of information that focus on challenges and issues related to the topic areas is important knowledge to gain, the whole environment should not be centralized on negative....we need to think of the 'possibilities' of healthy partnerships.

My Learning Experiences- Wow, what awesome 'Injunuity' each of you film/media makers are working on. It is inspiring to see and learn about the various project's happening around Indian Country! I applaud each of your efforts and hope that we have a chance to preview some of the film documentaries during the next Media for Change meeting. I was inspired to hear this message: No matter what the challenges are (financial, distance of geography, supplies & equipment....) the understanding that these stories must be captured for our people....it has to be us; if not us then who will be willing to document these legacies that tell the plight of our people!'Recommendations for moving forward: I applaud the idea of creating a network system for the collective group. I also recognize the importance of growing the network.

I support the idea of providing a follow up meeting or a 'symposium' that would help to strengthen Vision Maker Media's goals & objectives for Media Change. I also see the importance of hosting a meeting like this at one of the Tribal Colleges that support media and education. I enjoyed eating our lunch with the students! It would be nice to see how both the film, viewers guide and lessons work together (application of these areas- hands-on experiences for the participants).