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.

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Teach Your Students to Read Their World Using Classroom Media Analysis Videos by Project Look Sharp

There are many stories about the problems in education, but unfortunately fewer about solutions. Teachers are busy. Engaging students is difficult. Educators have to increasingly teach to the test and meet state standards to prepare students for college and the workplace. Many sites on the Internet provide data, resources, and information – but few show you how to use them.

To help bridge this gap, Project Look Sharp at Ithaca College has developed a series of videos to help K-12 educators lead discussions based on a Constructivist Media Decoding philosophy. These 5-10 minute long videos show how teachers can engage all students by employing objective-based questioning strategies to deconstruct carefully chosen media documents.

The videos demonstrate the process of facilitating group learning about media literacy. Students are prompted to think critically about all media messages by asking questions such as:

• Who produced this media message, and for what purpose?
• Is the information credible, how would you know?
• What techniques were used to communicate this message?
• Who might be the target audience?
• Who might benefit or be harmed by this message?
• How might other people interpret this message differently?

As shown in the videos, teachers respond with evidence-based prompts such as: “What makes you say that and where is that shown in the document?” These literacy principles are often preceded by content questions that encourage students to analyze media documents, including:

• What are the main messages here about… (fill in the blank)?
• What bias or point of view do you see here?
• What information is left out of this message and why?

Project Look Sharp developed these materials after assessing how some teachers present media documents to illustrate key points rather than to engage students. The videos include running annotations that explain how to conduct discussions about media messages using the constructivist methodology. Teachers will learn how to shift their practices from predominantly delivering facts to engaging students in rigorous analysis, application of key knowledge, and reflection on their understanding of the mediated world they live in.

 

Find the videos on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6Hkm6JGfZo3ipCOUUEAiSq0cHXVK3awx

Project Look Sharp is a leading developer of media analysis activities that integrate core curriculum content and standards with constructivist decoding strategies. These activities tie into specific content areas, grade levels, and standards, making it easy for teachers can integrate critical thinking skills with core subject area content. Their web site at http://www.projectlooksharp.org contains lessons that analyze paintings, web sites, songs, articles, video clips, advertisements, Facebook pages, and more.

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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Cyndy Scheibe of Project Look Sharp Hosts Roundtable Discussion at the 12th Northeast Media Literacy Conference

Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT – Saturday, February 4th 2017- Dr. Scheibe held a roundtable discussion on Media Literacy Education at the 12th Northeast Media Literacy Conference. The conference included a panel on fake news, as well as various breakout roundtable discussions and workshops.

This discussion on the constructivist media decoding approach to media analysis was one of many timely topics at the Conference. Dr. Scheibe is the founder and executive director of Project Look Sharp. Her workshop focused on dynamic and interactive methods to incorporate media literacy lessons into activities for all grades. Dr. Scheibe demonstrated to participants how to create their own media literacy lesson plans using free online materials. She also included materials from Project Look Sharp’s extensive media literacy resources, such as lesson plans and constructivist media decoding videos. These videos depict educators introducing media decoding techniques in an actual classroom setting. They exemplify the importance of probing for evidence from students when introducing media literacy activities to students.

Another key workshop was a session on media literacy grandparents, or key figures who helped define the importance of media literacy initiatives. Among those mentioned as intellectual grandparents, one heartfelt commendation was for Sox Sperry, a curriculum writer at Project Look Sharp. Mr. Sperry was mentioned by Kelsey Greene, a Manager of Learning Resources for Convergence Academies, who mentioned how working alongside him had inspired her and gave her a start in media literacy. This session exemplified the importance of media literacy role models and the positive effect of receiving a media literacy education.

Although media literacy is important for all students, it is especially beneficial for students who do not learn best from written text. It is crucial for helping students decode topical and controversial issues by allowing them to deconstruct bias, and interpret the factual information. These conferences are not only beneficial for educators, but ultimately to the students.

The 12th Northeast Media Literacy Conference allowed many media literacy professionals to come together and share knowledge and ideas. Participants discussed topics that are most pressing regarding the analysis of media literacy and its implementation in education, business and professional settings. Additionally, the gathering allowed these educators to not only gain knowledge about media literacy, but also to have access to additional resources.

For more information, 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.

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NCSS Position Paper on Media Literacy Approved

ITHACA, NY- Dec. 1, 2016- The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) approved an official Position Paper on Media Literacy in June of 2016. The paper was written by Chris Sperry, Project Look Sharp’s Director of Curriculum and Staff Development along with Frank Baker of the Media Literacy Clearinghouse. The position paper discusses how social studies educators can use images and videos to teach media literacy analysis to students.

The NCSS is an organization that is devoted solely to social studies education through engaging and supporting educators throughout all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 69 foreign countries. Its mission is: “to provide leadership, service, and support for all social studies educators.” With over 110 affiliated state, local and regional councils and associated groups, the NCSS membership extends to K-12 classroom teachers, college and university faculty members, curriculum designers and specialists and leaders in education.

Media literacy has become a hot-button issue for policy makers around the country today. According to Media Literacy Now, 15 states have acquired Media Literacy Now partners to work toward legislation to build awareness of the urgent need for media literacy education. New York is currently considering comprehensive media literacy education bills through Media Literacy Now advocates.

“At the core of learning is Literacy—the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and produce communication. Media literacy expands the traditional concept of literacy to include the forms of communication that dominate the lives of our students,” wrote Sperry and Baker, “If our students are to be literate, we must teach them the skills and habits of literacy for print and non-print mediated messages.”

Sperry and Baker further discussed how educators can teach media analysis to their students through critical inquiry, which involves the asking of key questions by both teachers and students. The key questions included within the paper focus on: audience and authorship, messages and meanings, and representations and reality.

The paper also provides examples of curriculum resources for social studies teachers at different grade levels focusing on media literacy integration.

The official Position Paper on Media Literacy is available on the NCSS website: http://www.socialstudies.org/publications/socialeducation/may-june2016/media-literacy.

And on the Project Look Sharp website at http://www.projectlooksharp.org/Articles/ncsspositionstatement.pdf

For more information, you can email us at looksharp@ithaca.edu or contact us by phone at 607-274-3471. To contact the authors, email Chris Sperry at csperry@ithaca.edu or contact Frank Baker through his website, http://frankwbaker.com/.

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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