I was honored to attend this event with Vision Maker Media and the event came a right time where I am starting on my PhD in Educational Technology and the discussion of the event hit on all topic areas I will be exploring for my dissertation.
When I applied for a degree in “Educational Technology” I had in mind that, since I have a Masters Degree in Film Production, that I would like to focus on Educational Television Programming for Tribal Communities. Meaning, the educational material I am going produce will be geared for the Native American Audience and Native American community members, whether it is on or off the reservation. Everyone learns in different ways, but in my experience, it seems like people more and more are becoming visual learners.
Television is a great asset to the teacher, if it is harnessed in the right direction. It was mentioned in the meeting that the audience for PBS stations is an older crowd, probably more educated audience. PBS is a great outlet for educational media makers and talking with everyone at the workshop, it is clear to me that although PBS is accessible to most communities (non native and native) that the problem is not is accessibility, but its intrigue to the young learner and younger generations.
I was happy to learn about all the educational materials that are available, but I taught college courses for nearly 4 years and didn’t know about this very valuable resource, maybe its me, not you. If we are going to get the audience of more Native People to watch, the programming has to not only be educational, but it also has to be entertaining. Not only does it have to be entertaining, it has to be cutting edge and applicable to the audience members lives.
How do we get our audiences? How do we get the money to produce such programming? Does all educational programming HAVE TO be in documentary form? I also heard about the new 24-hour television station for Native Americans, I am very interested in how this station will play out and hopefully get involved with their programming.
Although the mission of the “Media for Change” workshop is to get more people to watch educational programming, we must first assess our needs, what people want, why they would watch it and what would keep them tuned in on a daily or weekly basis for different shows. It is good to get the money to make programming, but it is more important to make the programming and actually have people watch it and hopefully learn from it.
I want to continue to stay involved with this group because all the questions I am asking here, I have been asking myself for years now and I am finally going to do the research in order to understand more about the pedagogy of educational programming for television. But I also want to extend it more to programming on the internet so people have more access to watch the shows they want to watch, develop the idea of an “Educational Netflix” where people can subscribe to watch streaming videos or have them mailed to their home to watch at their leisure and extend the programming to the cell phone. We are becoming a mobile, touchscreen society, it is time to start using the technology for our educational programming goals.