Garcia, Seglem and Share (2013) wrote that for students to be truly critical media literate they must be able to not only consume media critically, they must have the skills to create it. This idea is what resonated with me most from this reading. The authors put this notion another way by relating the power that comes from students re-creating a media product rather than just looking at it. I don’t think I would have necessarily understood this idea so well without having read the article, but on the other hand – from a teaching perspective – it makes sense to me that in order for a learner to truly understand a concept they have to try it out.
Garcia et. Al (2013) describe this production aspect of learning to be critically media literate as empowering students to create their own messages that can respond to and challenge mainstream media texts and narratives. Overall this leads to what the authors related as an emergence of a participatory culture where consumers are interacting directly with the media surrounding them. This reminds of work projects I have been part of related to Aboriginal culture (specifically Inuit culture). The design of Nunavut Social Studies curriculum has been framed around the voices that are missing from the common historical narrative. Out of this framework, Inuit students are encouraged to become participants in the narrative, or conversants in the Great Conversation (Nunavut Department of Education). I see a parallel in that critical media literacy pedagogy aims to help learners develop the skills to participate in and help shape the media flow. And I also see that critical media pedagogy could help students join the Great Conversation in the modern, digital context. The authors describe how a production mindset, informed by critical media literacy pedagogy, helps enable students to shape their culture. I can see how this would be relevant in Aboriginal contexts, first to make sure their culture is part of what’s being shared and then to be empowered to take a role in shaping that culture in the modern context as well as in shaping the broader culture it is woven into.