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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Greening the Curriculum through Media Literacy Approaches to Sustainability Education.

Cyndy Scheibe and Chris Sperry presented at the 45th Annual Conference of the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) in Madison, Wisconsin. The conference was held to discuss how K-12 teachers could engage students in critical thinking about the environment and sustainability.

NAAEE is an organization that promotes environmental education primarily throughout North America but also extends borders to the rest of the world. Their mission is to accelerate environmental literacy and civic engagement through the power of environmental education.

The theme of the conference was: “From Inspiration to Impact: Inspiring stories. Compelling Evidence. Meaningful Impact.” It focused on powerful stories of innovation and success in environmental education from all over the world. The theme celebrated ways in which the NAAEE has inspired individuals to connect with nature and shape a sustainable future.

Project Look Sharp has showcased their nine environmental curriculum kits for the past three years at the NAAEE annual conference, and had an exhibitor booth again this year. The booth showcased Project Look Sharp’s “Process of Media Literacy” banner, curriculum kits, website and other resources to connect educators with PLS.

Chris and Cyndy’s presentation: Greening the Curriculum through Media Literacy Approaches to Sustainability Education, was held from 2:15-3:45 p.m Thursday afternoon. They gave an interactive 90-minute hands-on workshop on how to integrate media literacy and environmental education in K-12 classrooms.

This lively session posed the question of: “How can today’s K-12 teachers engage all students in critical thinking about environmental and sustainability issues while

still meeting standards-based curriculum requirements?”

The session showcased media literacy approaches to Environmental Education and E-STEM education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). The workshop related media decodings to sustainability and environmental issues. It also evaluated internet searches and media literacy pedagogies, allowing the audience to explore PLS curriculum materials.

Project Look Sharp also showcased a documentary created by second graders at Caroline Elementary School in Tompkins County, New York last year as a part of the lesson plans created for lower elementary grades.

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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WEBINAR: Media Constructions of Presidential Campaigns 2016

The 2nd Annual U.S. Media Literacy Week will be held from October 31-November 4, 2016. This week is designed to bring attention and visibility to media literacy education in the United States. The National Association for Media Literacy Education is working to create a media literacy week to showcase the amazing work done by media literacy educators and organizations across the country. The overall mission of Media Literacy Week is to highlight the power of media literacy education and its role in education today.

The events of Media Literacy Week begin with the Digital Citizenship Summit Kick Off Event and dive into several events spanning across the country. For more information on the event calendar visit: https://medialiteracyweek.us/home/calendar-of-events/.

Project Look Sharp celebrates the 2nd Annual Media Literacy Week with a webinar on the “Media Constructions of Presidential Campaigns”—a timely topic that you can apply immediately in your high school and college classrooms.  Join us on Tuesday, November 1 at 7PM EDT. Visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/media-constructions-of-presidential-campaigns-tickets-28556339781 to register.

In this highly interactive webinar, Sox Sperry, Project Look Sharp’s primary curriculum writer,  will demonstrate our unique and proven approach to constructivist media decoding. New and veteran educators will learn to:

  •     Embed the six key concepts of media literacy into your curriculum and tie them to educational standards;
  •     Engage students through their daily media landscape, then expand to study the historical context and to critically analyze the credibility of candidates & media representations;
  •     Teach in a way that models democracy—asking questions that unpack students’ different interpretations, while fostering productive dialog and critical thinking around “hot button” topics;
  •     Use Project Look Sharp’s large library of resources to create your own lessons that further your educational goals.

The media and lessons used are drawn from the popular Presidential Campaigns  (http://www.projectlooksharp.org/?action=presidential) curriculum collection, which is available free from our website and has just been updated for the 2016 campaign.

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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Online resources for Project Look Sharp’s “Media Constructions of Presidential Campaigns” curriculum updated – just in time for election season

ITHACA, NY- October 3, 2016- Online resources for Project Look Sharp’s “Media Constructions of Presidential Campaigns” curriculum updated – just in time for election season

In anticipation of the upcoming 2016 presidential election, Ithaca College’s Media Literacy Initiative “Project Look Sharp” has updated their popular high school through college curriculum to include media resources comparing past presidential campaigns with the current election.

Sox Sperry describes the new materials via an article published in “Social Education,” the National Council for the Social Studies journal, “Social Education and is entitled “(Not so) Unprecedented: Media analysis of the 2016 Presidential Race and Its Historical Precedents.””. The article outlines newly created resources, and how teachers can find and use them in the classroom, as well as the original curriculum materials – which have been downloaded by thousands of educators.

The article poses the question: “How can we bring these issues into the classroom in a way that engages students, and that teaches core content and develops the skills needed to strengthen critical thinking?” To answer this question, Sperry’s article includes resources such as historic and contemporary media documents for student analysis, media literacy questions, contrasting images and sample conversations between teachers and students to help guide the conversations.

“Helping students to develop media literacy skills––the abilities to access, analyze, evaluate and produce media messages––is one way to support habits of inquiry consistent with social studies learning,” wrote Sperry, “This article highlights the analysis of media messages from past elections and compares them with current media messages, as a way to invite students to reflect on key questions related to media literate citizenship.

The original lessons, “Media Constructions of Presidential Campaigns” by Chris Sperry and Sox Sperry, contain over 200 curriculum activities that use media messages from electoral campaigns beginning in 1800 and continuing to present day to help students critically analyze presidential campaigns.

Documents, curriculum materials and lesson plans within “Media Constructions of Presidential Campaigns” along with the 2016 update are available free of charge at http://projectlooksharp.org/?action=mcpc_2016

For more information, 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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