Though Media Literacy Week may be ending soon, Project Look Sharp is not slowing down in the slightest. Executive Director Cyndy Scheibe and Director of Curriculum Chris Sperry will be presenting three different seminars on Thursday through Friday, Nov. 16-17, for the National Council for Social Studies convention in San Francisco, CA. All seminars will be conducted in the Moscone Center, West 800 Howard Street in San Francisco and a Project Look Sharp booth with informational bags full of handouts and helpful pamphlets will be organized for those seeking additional materials.
The first meeting, titled: “Transform Your Teaching Through Inquiry-Based Media Analysis” will be led by both Dir. Scheibe and Dir. Sperry in room 3020. The day-long event will run from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., offering educators of secondary to high school level instructions on how to practice the dynamic art of constructivist media decoding that teaches all students life-long habits of critical thinking through questioning media content, sourcing, credibility, perspective, bias, and more. The specific social studies content for this intensive full day training will ultimately be based on the specific subject area content for the participating teachers.
Two participants will facilitate brief (5 to 7 minute) media decoding activities – with the other participants acting as students. Each of the activities will be followed by about 15 minutes of debriefing amongst the group, identifying challenges and opportunities. During the second half of the morning, practical models for CMD activities in the social studies classroom will be presented. This will include reflections on live CMD activities led by the presenters and videos of classroom practice. This will be accompanied by an introduction to the theory of CMD, key frameworks for questioning and tips for leading CMD activities, and initial definitions. At the end of the day, each participant will demonstrate their learning by presenting a brief integration plan for their teaching.
Additionally, selected participants from the 2017 NCSS summer institute in media literacy will participate in this clinic as leadership coaches – supporting clinic participants to develop media decoding activities and plan for the practice decoding sessions. The coaches will work with the support and supervision of the two lead presenters. Members of NCSS must pay $35 to attend this pre-conference event and nonmembers, $50.
On the following Friday, Dir. Sperry will be presenting two seminars. The first, “Understanding the Middle East through Inquiry, Simulation, and Media Literacy” will take place in room 2016 and run from 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.. The content is aimed towards educators of secondary to high school level and will instruct on how to motivate engagement, train perspective taking, and address conflicting truths while teaching critical thinking, core knowledge, C3 skills and life-long learning to all students. Teachers will walk away with skills, knowledge, inspiration, and classroom ready materials for using simulations, student research, and media analysis in any social studies curriculum area.
From the start, participants will be responding to questions about content, interpretation, evaluation, and reflection using documents such as the introduction to Disney’s Aladdin (to analyze representations of the Arab World), excerpts from divergent encyclopedia entries on “Islam” (to teach content and analyze language, perspective and voice), and paired newspaper front pages (to teach the history of the war in Iraq, critical thinking skills and evidence-based reading). The workshop will engage participants in rigorous document-based analysis and application of knowledge. The group will reflect on the pros and cons of an inquiry-based approach to teaching social studies and address participant concerns (e.g. time, covering content, using potentially harmful images). Handouts on theoretical frameworks for constructivist decoding and other Middle East related materials will be provided as well. Registration for this event can be accessed through this link:
The final seminar on Friday, also taught by Dir. Sperry, is called “Inquire, Analyze, Evaluate: C3 through Contructivist Media Decoding” and will be held in room 2022 from 4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.. The content is aimed towards educators of secondary to high school level and the fast-paced interactive workshop will present proven pedagogy, practice and materials for engaging all students in complex moral reasoning, civic dialogue, and critical literacy skills through analyzing content-rich media messages. Dir. Sperry will use questions to provoke thinking about social content (in media documents) and the process of leading media decoding activities. He will then model the use of dynamic and diverse media (video, print, visual, etc.) to engage secondary students in rigorous document-based analysis and application of knowledge in US history and global studies. The group will reflect on advantages and challenges of an inquiry-based approach to teaching social studies and Dir. Sperry will share a wealth of resources including hard copies of key theoretical frameworks and free online resources.
Registration for entire conference on Friday as well as the separate pre-conference seminars on Thursday can be accessed through this link:
Different discounts for conference registration are available for NCSS members as well.
For more information on this session, visit:
To learn more about all the NCSS pre-conference and conference sessions, please visit: https://www.socialstudies.org/conference/clinics
For more information and materials about Project Look Sharp go to projectlooksharp.org.
Project Look Sharp is Ithaca College’s Media Literacy Initiative. Project Look Sharp supports the integration of critical thinking through media literacy in school curriculum and teaching. They do this through developing and providing lesson plans, media materials, training, and support for educators at all education levels. The purpose of media literacy education is to help individuals of all ages develop the habits of inquiry and skills of expression they need to be critical thinkers, effective communicators, and active citizens in today’s world.
From day one, Ithaca College prepares students for personal and professional success through hands-on experience with internships, research and study abroad. Its integrative curriculum builds bridges across disciplines and uniquely blends liberal arts and professional study. Located in New York’s Finger Lakes region, the College is home to 6,100 undergraduate and 400 graduate students and offers over 100 degree programs in its schools of Business, Communications, Humanities and Sciences, Health Science and Human Performance, and Music.
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