Cathy Davidson shares some innovative approaches to university teaching and learning here that demonstrate the power in having students learn by producing digital media, not just by consuming it. Davidson's DML blog post shows ways to break down educational barriers that artificially separate readers and writers, consumers and producers, players and critical thinkers, as demonstrated by students who work in media production teams to develop key course concepts into online challenges for their peers. One of the many good things about this approach is that it taps into the digital resources and strengths that students already bring to the classroom.
This is true for early childhood classrooms as well. We can build on students' digital media knowledge and abilities by recognizing technologies as appropriate resources for learning and by allowing children to bring cell phones, digital toys, and popular media into the classroom. For very young children, we're finding that criticality begins with the understanding that a digital text was produced by people rather than somehow magically generated within a screen. Giving children opportunities to make and share their own digital productions helps develop their emergent critical understandings.