We’ve all heard the cliche, “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach him to fish, he eats for life.” The adage is old, but its message is clear: Process is forever!¹ The rapid expansion of technology has revolutionized the world around us almost faster than we can keep up. According to George Gilder (How Infinite Bandwith Will Revolutionize Our World, 2000) the Law of Technological Information maintains that “the amount of technological information doubles every 18 months.” Sadly, schools, institutions and organizations are hard-pressed to match this pace. Even as our students spend their days sitting in classrooms where information is processed through worksheets, exams and route memorization, the digital world looms, expanding infinitely right outside the door.
Kids need more than knowledge to succeed in the future. They need to know where to find that knowledge and how to critically analyze and sift through it. What we have to start asking ourselves about what students learn in a traditional classroom setting is how long will it be remembered? The Media Awareness Project absolutely delivers STEM skill learning. Our kids are hands-on with cameras, computers, software. They script, design, light, shoot and edit their work. These are primary skills with absolute marketable value. But our programs pack an enormous secondary learning punch. MAP kids brainstorm, they research, they analyze, they problem solve. As they create productions they budget, they request permits, they interact with community leaders and public administration. They present their work to an audience.
“When we learn by discovery, something happens. The brain wakes up and takes notice.”¹ The impotant role of this type of learning is its ability to shape and transform a child’s understanding of the world around them and their powerful place in it.
What programs like MAP provide is something we call subsequent learning. It means that long after we’ve called it a wrap on set, the learning we create with the Media Awareness Project continues. The secondary skills kids master in our programs can be applied across many fields, dimensions and experiences. This secondary learning isn’t limitted to practical life skills like working a budget. It also incorporates the social and emotional learning that comes with identifying a social challenge, exploring solutions, empathizing with others.
The Media Awareness Project is constantly fishing for the best strategies to create strong communities and successful futures. But with every workshop, event and production, we are teaching the art of navigating through a complex system of information and opportunity.