Project Look Sharp and NCSS Educate Teachers with Media Literacy Workshops at Newseum, Washington D.C.

Teachers are now ready for the fall thanks to Project Look Sharp’s intensive three-day workshop this past summer. From July 24th to 26th, Project Look Sharp facilitated media literacy training and teachings to a wide variety of educators. Taking place in the Newseum, Washington, DC, the event was hosted by Project Look Sharp’s Chris Sperry and Cyndy Scheibe along with the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the education staff at the Newseum. Content ranged from how to integrate media literacy into curriculum materials, creating an inquiry-based and interactive classroom, to preparing students to critically analyze their confirmation bias.

The training extended to teachers of middle and high school as well as college faculty, with department chairs and consultants working with educators participating. The three-day workshop also allowed further opportunities for individual coaching. Afterwards, Project Look Sharp’s Sperry and Scheibe both received accolades from the audience. Specific responses from the survey read:

“Project Sharp has far exceeded my expectations with concrete materials that I can start using right away in my classroom.”

“I enjoyed the strong modeling of practice by Cyndy and Chris. They provided a great example of how to develop media literacy skills.”

“First the presentations were informative, enriching and very balanced in presentation models. Second, the sharing of experiences was very positive. Third, the coaching and practice made a wonderful closing to the activity.”

“Thank you for offering Project Sharp as a workshop. It’s the best PD I’ve taken so far in my 8-year-career.”

To learn more information on Project Look Sharp and our activities, be sure to visit 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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Project Look Sharp Presents at the 2017 NAMLE Conference

Project Look Sharp is excited to announce that Cyndy Scheibe and Chris Sperry were featured at the 2017 National Association of Media Literacy Educators Conference, “Engaging Citizens, Building Community”. The conference was held on June 26-28th at Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL.

Cyndy and Chris led and moderated a wide variety of workshops and presentations at this important biennial national conference:
• Media Literacy and Health: Building a Dynamic Community to Change the Landscape of K-12 Health through Media Literacy (Scheibe)
• Media Inquiry That Teaches Students How to Question Their World (Scheibe/Sperry)
• Critical Media Literacy & Environmental Justice (Sperry)
• History Communication in a Multimedia Landscape (Scheibe/Moderator)
• The Contextual Approach to News Literacy: Facilitating Engagement by Learning about Media Systems and Institutions (Scheibe/Moderator)
• Pedagogies of Persistence: Civic Media in the Teaching and Learning of Everyday Activism in Democratic Life (Sperry/Moderator)
• Using Media & Media Literacy to Develop Agency (Sperry/Moderator)

Full Program Descriptions

Media Literacy & Health
Since its beginnings, media literacy education has addressed the role of media in the decisions individuals make regarding their
health. This dialogue session brings scholars, educators and medical
professionals together to discuss the role that media literacy education can play in promoting a healthy living among youth.
The Contextual Approach to News Literacy
Media Literacy, Institutions & Representations
Media literacy’s core concepts address the influence media industries and institutions have on media messages, and the meanings made by audiences. The political economy of news media is a topic of special importance in today’s cultural climate. This dialogue session brings together scholars sharing research related to the relationship of media institutions and representations.

History Communication in a Multimedia Landscape
Social studies classrooms have traditionally provided a productive context for media literacy education. This dialogue session brings together scholars and educators to discuss the intersection of media literacy and history and present resources to help educators address these issues with their students.

Engaging Every Student:
Media Inquiry That Teaches Students How to Question Their World
This interactive session will model constructivist pedagogy and strong-sense critical thinking through examining news literacy and sustainability education. We will present videos of classroom decoding, a revised version of our Key Questions, a graphic of the process of media literacy, and NCSS’ new Media Literacy Position Paper for social studies.
Critical Media Literacy & Environmental Justice
Climate change is already impacting life on Earth, and media messages about this problem are a crucial space for students to critically question and respond to environmental issues. A panel of media literacy educators who have been researching, writing, and teaching about environmental justice will share their thoughts, practices, and resources for promoting ecomedia literacy.
Pedagogies of Persistence: Civic Media in the Teaching and Learning of Everyday Activism in Democratic Life
This workshop will explore the phenomenon of persistence–what we are defining as sustained and long-term teaching and learning that shapes pedagogy around equality and inclusion–in support of sustained civic engagement, participation, and action from classrooms to communities. The discussion will frame media and digital literacies in an age of increased polarization and declining civic trust. We will engage in roundtable workshopping and dialogue with participants around the challenges they face in their classrooms and communities, and use this to articulate and document best practices for teaching and learning “persistence” in the age of polarization.

Using Media & Media Literacy to Develop Agency
Agency is media literacy in action. This panel will explore the relationships between media literacy education, civic participation and community building within our contemporary culture. It will consider the many forms that agency takes and how that agency might be exercised both inside and outside classrooms. Change agents might be teachers, parents, broadcasters, filmmakers, corporations, students and more. The presentation will consider meanings of agency, then describe how several are playing out in the real world. Participants will gain a thorough understanding of agency and explore how they and others might develop and exercise their own agency. Some of the presenters will appear in person while others will join by video conference.

For more information regarding the 2017 NAMLE Conference, visit
https://namleconference.net/

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.

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Special Screening and Discussion at Cinemapolis: The Film “1984” and Media Literacy Discussion with Project Look Sharp

In the book “1984” by George Orwell, on April 4, Winston Smith began questioning Big Brother. On the same date, people will gather across the United States to watch the film 1984 and discuss its relevance today. Cinemapolis of Downtown Ithaca will be one of over 180 art house movie theaters across the country in 165 cities and in 43 states to participate collectively in the national event screening of the movie. We invite you to join this special event on April 4 at 7 p.m. at 120 E Green St. in Ithaca.

After the screening, Cyndy Scheibe and Chris Sperry (directors of Ithaca College’s media literacy program Project Look Sharp) will lead an interactive discussion about education, critical thinking and media literacy in the age of “Fake News”. Proceeds will support Project Look Sharp’s work helping educators teach critical thinking and media literacy skills nationally and in our region.

All educators will receive the Cinemapolis member discount price for this special event, and may also bring one guest free of charge.

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.

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Cyndy Scheibe Holds Interactive Presentation at NCTE Convention

ITHACA, NY- December 4, 2016

On Saturday Nov. 19 Cyndy Scheibe (Executive Director of Project Look Sharp) presented at the National Council of Teachers of English convention (NCTE) in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference was held to discuss how teachers can advocate for themselves, their students, and their schools.

NCTE is an organization that is dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education. Through the learning and teaching of English their mission is to: develop literacy, use language to construct personal and public worlds and achieve full participation in society. The theme of the conference was: “Faces of Advocacy.” It focused on the many ways teachers play the role of an advocate every day, whether it be through championing the future of an individual student or speaking up for a shift in national policy. A few of the sessions included in this theme were: Teacher Agency, Critical Literacy, and Diversity in Literature.

Cyndy presented with panelists Richard Beach, Allen Webb and Jeff Share authors of the book “Teaching Climate Change to Adolescents: Reading, Writing, and Making a Difference” which will be published in 2017 by NCTE and Routledge Press. Project Look Sharp’s approach and curriculum materials related to Climate Change are frequently referenced in the book.

Their presentation was titled: “A Media Literacy Approach to Climate Change and Sustainability.” The presentation focused on interactive media literacy activities with audience members which included:

  • Having audience members do a quick Google search on the terms “climate change” or “global warming,” comparing the first 10 hits they got and discussing which sites they would click on first (and why), and which sites they would assume might be less credible (and why)
  • Having teachers work in pairs to do one of the activities in the Global Warming kit on Discourse & Disinformation
  • Showing the Constructivist Media Decoding video on the Project Look Sharp website with Chris leading the students through “The Great Global Warming Swindle” exercise

In addition to the panel presentation Project Look Sharp shared an exhibitor space with organizations who focus on international children’s literature, which overlapped with PLS’s Middle East Curriculum Kit.

“I interacted with more than 150 educators, giving them a bookmark, and in some cases other materials. We added nearly 50 new people to our list serve,” said Scheibe. The exhibitor display also featured curriculum kits such as Media Constructions of the Middle East and Media Construction of Global Warming along with other resources on the process of media literacy.

For more information about the event or curriculum, email looksharp@ithaca.edu or call 607-274-3471.

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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Ithaca College Santa Expert Helping Keep the Magic Alive: A Reflection on the Macy’s Believe Campaign 3 months later

In the internet age, where a simple Google search can spoil the magic of Santa Claus for kids, Macy’s hoped to fill the World Wide Web with positive affirmations of belief. Cyndy Scheibe, a developmental psychologist from Ithaca College, had conducted her own research on belief in Santa to contribute to Macy’s efforts. As part of its annual “I Believe” campaign, which supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Macy’s launched The Santa Project. In December 2016, Macy’s encouraged people of all ages to show their beliefs by using #SantaProject to post a message, photo or video via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. A selection of responses was featured in a Macy’s television commercial in December.

Ithaca College Professor of Psychology, Cyndy Scheibe, served as a consultant for the project, and was featured in promotional videos.

“I did really appreciate being tapped as one of the developmental psychologists to speak about this…the whole issue of Santa Claus and new digital media is how much it reflects what we do in media literacy education- working hard with teachers to make media literacy lessons developmentally appropriate, especially for elementary grades, and not to tell children what to think, but instead encourage them to make their own meaning from the media messages they see and read and hear,” said Scheibe of the project’s impact. 
 

At the start of the campaign, Joe Feczko, senior Vice President of brand marketing for Macy’s said, “This season, we want to do everything we can to boost the spirit of Santa for future generations. We’re asking people to come together this Christmas to flood the internet with a groundswell of positivity that preserves belief for kids everywhere.” These efforts proved to be successful- the letters to Santa and #SantaProject helped raise $2 million for the Make- A- Wish foundation.

Scheibe says Macy’s did a lot of its own research, and sought out experts from developmental psychology to talk about children’s imagination, the importance of fantasy in children’s development and how the process of going from believing in Santa to discovering the truth about the Santa story occurs. Scheibe reflected on the project by saying this developmental insight is always relevant, as children encounter fictional characters at all times of the year, such as the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny or Elijah’s role at Passover.

“There are all sorts of mixed messages and conflicting information about characters like Santa Claus on the Internet. That’s what makes the Internet so wonderful and so problematic. You can always find stuff there to reinforce any ideas you might have, and you have to bring to bear critical thinking and real-world knowledge and an appreciation for verifiable information and logic in order to come to some kind of truthful conclusions,” said Scheibe.

Scheibe is the director of Project Look Sharp, a program at Ithaca College that supports educators in preparing students for life in today’s media saturated world. She has been a consultant to the Children’s Television Workshop and was a founding board member of the National Association for Media Literacy Education.

To learn more about The Santa Project and its impact, visit macys.com/believe.

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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Free Upcoming Workshop by Project Look Sharp’s Chris Sperry at Sustainability Perspectives Series at Wells College

Chris Sperry, the director of curriculum and staff development for Project Look Sharp, will be holding an interactive workshop at Wells College’s Sustainability Perspectives series. He will utilize some of Project Look Sharps many media literacy lesson plans on sustainability and climate change to demonstrate the dynamic learning activities for grades elementary through college. The workshop will be focused on teaching critical thinking and media literacy through sustainability education.

Sustainability has become an extremely topical issue, and it is crucial to teach students how to distinguish between credible and deceptive media sources. Properly interpreting information regarding the issue of sustainability in modern society is essential to fighting climate change. Media will play a huge role in the prevention of further damage by allowing sustainability messages to reach students and younger generations. Chris will be teaching proper critical thinking skills, that will encourage students to continually probe for evidence. Students should examine credibility through a critical lens, habitually asking questions about authorship, accuracy, meaning and bias.

This free workshop (no registration necessary) is open to the public and will help participants better understand how the impact of sustainability is influenced by media messages. It will take place on Monday the 24th of April from 12:20 to 1:20pm in the deWitt Lecture Hall, Zabriskie Room 106 at Wells College in Aurora New York.

For more information regarding the Wells College Sustainability Perspectives Series contact Marian Brown, at 315-364-3304 or by email at mbrown@wells.edu.

For more information about Project Look Sharp, you can email us at looksharp@ithaca.edu or contact us by phone at 607-274-3471. Or on the Project Look Sharp website at http://www.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.

Sustainability Perspectives flyer – Chris Sperry – April 24

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