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2009 Media Literacy Conference Podcasts  


The biannual conference was an astounding success this year, check out our podcasts from selected speakers below.

Keynote Speaker-

Digital Nation - Education in Transition to 21st Century Learning

Alan November, Educator and Educational Consultant


     This Keynote presentation includes an analysis of trends in learning... independent and hands on learning that tracks projects that explore how the web and digital media is changing the way we think, work, learn and interact. Examples from WGBH Frontline's Digital Nation documents the national trends in schools in Texas, California and elsewhere. The Keynote will highlight these trends and how they are developing with specific reference to examples from across the country.

     Alan November is an international leader in education technology. He began his career as an oceanography teacher and dorm counselor at an island reform school for boys in Boston Harbor. He has been director of an alternative high school, computer coordinator, technology consultant, and university lecturer. He has helped schools, governments and industry leaders improve the quality of education through technology and was named one of the nation’s fifteen most influential thinkers of the decade by Classroom Computer Learning Magazine. In 2001, he was listed as one of eight educators to provide leadership into the future by the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse.

  In 2007 he was selected to speak at the Cisco Public Services Summit during the Nobel Prize Festivities in Stockholm, Sweden. His writing includes numerous articles and best-selling book, "Empowering Students with Technology". Alan was co-founder of the Stanford Institute for Educational Leadership Through Technology and is most proud of being selected as one of the original five national Christa McAuliffe Educators.


Turn Organizational Needs Into Fundable Ideas, and Present Them In Competitive Proposals to Foundations and Corporations 

Angela Johnson, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley 


Participants will learn the basic components of competitive grant proposals to foundations, government agencies and corporations. Topics will include preliminary steps for organizing information and needs, basic proposal components, and understanding the process for ascertaining and meeting funders' proposal needs. Additional focus will include helping attendees identify and overcome some of the barriers associated with securing fund for technology projects but always remembering that mission sell


  1. Develop methods for writing more effective proposals.

  2. Recognize issues and possible strategies for rethinking the allocation of their organization's resources budgeted for IT.

  3. Learn about additional resources to assist them with their technology funding search.

  4. Become vigilant about viewing all technology proposals as enhancers to you mission.

Angela Johnson is the new Assistant Vice President for Leadership and Annual Giving for United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. Prior to working for United Way, Angela served for two and half years as Director of Annual Funds and Special Gifts for Mount Holyoke College. During her time at MHC, she led the MHC Annual Fund efforts to raise a record $8.56 million in FY07, a record that still holds today. Prior to her work at MHC, Angela held several positions in the philanthropic and nonprofit sector of greater Boston from 1993 - 2007 including seven years spent working at Harvard University. Over the past sixteen years, she has successfully helped raise millions of dollars from individual, public, and private sector donors for Harvard, community-based nonprofits, and several arts and education organizations.  A graduate of Wellesley College, Angela holds a B.A. in Psychology and English Literature.


Teen Voices, New Media

Creating and Learning with 21st Century Skills 

Alan Michel, HOME, Inc.


Additional Panel Members: 
Craig Leach, Somerville Teacher and HOME, Inc. Media Lab Coordinator
Students from Somerville High School and their After School Program
Brendan Reilly, HOME’s Media Lab Coordinator for Madison Park & English High School's-Teen TV Summer Intensive
Charlie LaFauci, Somerville School Department

    Using social networking and media messages to explore learning opportunities, affect healthy choices in teens, and manage and personalize their learning. This workshop will explore the traditional media lab in a high school and school library and how it can be structured to engage individual students and groups of students in amazing content, social networking and challenging learning situations where students create award winning media. This workshop will feature cable television projects that have won awards from Fox News, the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office and the Somerville and Boston School Departments.  


Biennial Dola Award Presentation


    New media can be a source of social enterprise, a way to reach new horizons, new solutions and new endeavors or, media misunderstood can simply add to the many contradicting messages that confuse us. With access to information on the internet, television, cell phones and other media so available today, educators must meet learners where they are, help them to question and be thoughtful about the media and to be able to synthesize and analyze in order to be better Informed.  

    In recognition of the importance of technology and media literacy in shaping our lives, Dola Hamilton Stemberg, is sponsoring the second Dola biennial award for a school and teacher that have made outstanding contributions to teaching and learning with media in the classroom.  

 This year, the second biennial Dola Award, includes a $1,000 award to a school department and a $500 award to a teacher/educator who have exemplified best practices in media literacy and media production. This award is meant to acknowledge and encourage outstanding media literacy education that encourages collaboration, communication, and innovation and challenges students to learn and succeed in Boston area Schools.


Participatory Assessment for New and Traditional Media Practices 

Jenna McWilliams, Indiana University Learning Sciences Program 


  Participatory assessment is a way of approaching assessment that fosters shared participation in new media practices, while also fostering the understanding that schools and teachers are accountable for achievement. This presentation will describe participatory assessment as was applied to the Teachers Strategy Guide, a curriculum developed by Project New Media Literacies. It will also describe how it currently is being applied in Indiana Universities Participatory Activities and Assessment Network. This network will develop participatory assessment for existing open-source new media learning activities and help teachers share accounts, experiences, evidence, and expertise. 
   Jenna McWilliams is a doctoral student in the Learning Sciences program at Indiana University. She holds an MFA in English and was previously a curriculum designer at Project New Media Literacies and a college composition instructor.


Media, Camera, Action!: Teaching Teens to Prevent Dating Violence through Media Mastery 

David Bickham, PhD., Staff Scientist, and Lauren Rubenzahl, EdM, Program Coordinator, Center on Media and Child Health         


This session introduces a program model in which teens use media literacy skills to address a challenge faced by their community. Piloted as part of an initiative to prevent teen dating violence, this model integrates media literacy into a peer leadership training program. It trains youth to think critically about media messages, re-examine what they believe to be “normal,” and create video messages they can use in their community to address this challenge. By engaging youth both in examining media they use and in creating their own media, this model promotes becoming a critical consumer and creator of media as a way for youth to address the social issues of our time.
Over the course of a 4-year initiative called “Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships,” the Center on Media and Child Health is collaborating with Start Strong Boston’s lead organization, the Boston Public Health Commission, to train youth to prevent teen dating violence by promoting healthy relationships. These young people bring their learning into their communities and serve as mentors to younger students around these issues.
David Bickham is a staff scientist at CMCH, whose work focuses on the effects of violent media on young people’s health and development. Lauren Rubenzahl is an educator who develops curriculum and who, along with two other members of CMCH’s staff, taught this past summer’s 5-week youth workshop.

Learning Library Builds On 21st Century Skills that Include Appropriation of Existing Materials and Creating, and Collaboration  

Erin Reilly, Research Director, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Project New Media Literacies


This session will introduce participants to the Learning Library, an aggregator of media from the web, such as a video, image or audio file, but also a publishable tool that allows participants, whether students or educators, to integrate personal-life experiences with a learning concept.


The Learning Library takes advantage of sites such as Flickr or YouTube, and encourages students and educators to produce and circulate their own materials, creating an open-content, open-knowledge network and was developed on the 4 C's of Participatory Design:

·       How do we facilitate Connections in a design model?

·       How do we provide mechanisms for Creating?

·       Are there ways for communities to Collaborate and build upon each other's knowledge?

·       Have we created transparency for media to Circulate?


Participants will walk away with access to the Learning Library for:

·       Inspiration to apply concepts to the concerns and goals of their learning environments

·       Integration for a blended learning experience between the virtual and physical world,

·       Adaptation to create different learning contexts, and

·       Creation of new challenges that have helped us refine models for others to do the same.

Project New Media Literacies Research Director Erin Reilly is co-creator of Platform Shoes Forum’s model program Zoey’s Room, a national online community for 10-14 year-old girls, encouraging their creativity through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Zoey’s Room has proven results in advancing STEM and Media Literacy skills. In 2007, Erin received a National Educational Leaders in Learning Award from Cable in the Classroom for her innovative approach to learning through Zoey’s Room.  


Integrating Media Literacy - What we can learn from "traditional" media literacy that can inform our work with 21st Century technologies? 

Chris Sperry, Director of Curriculum and Staff Development, Project Look Sharp     


High school teacher and author, Chris Sperry, will share models, stories and insights from 30 years of integrating media analysis and production into his classes and through his work with Ithaca College’s k-12 media literacy initiative, Project Look Sharp. Chris will share both theoretical and practical models that use media decoding and 21st century tools to integrate critical thinking into the teaching of core subject area content and standards.  He will model lessons from Look Sharp’s free online curriculum kits including Media Construction of the Middle East, …Presidential Campaigns and…Global Warming. Chris is the winner of the 2005 National PTA and Cable Leaders in Learning Award for Media Literacy and 2008 National Council for the Social Studies Award for Global Understanding.

Media and Public Health... Changing Behavior Through Social Marketing and Media Creation

Margaux Joffe, Multimedia Coordinator, Boston Public Health Commission
Stephanie Doyle, Health Policy Analyst, Div. of Violence Prevention, Boston Public Health Commission    


This seminar explores social marketing and media creation as ways to engage youth with key issues that affect their health. In 2009 The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) launched two groundbreaking social marketing campaigns aimed at changing behaviors of Boston youth. Not only were youth instrumental in the development of the campaign messaging, both campaigns employed non-traditional marketing strategies as well as social media to spread the message. This seminar will offer in depth look at the development and execution of the “Boston SexED” STI Prevention Campaign, as well as the “Live by Example” Violence Prevention campaign:   The “Boston SexED” STI Prevention Campaign 

  • Video contest on YouTube
  • Creation of video PSA that aired on MTV, BET and FX
  • Building a street team of youth to get the message out through street theater and word of mouth
  • Alternative ways to engage youth through social media: Using a facebook page (www.facebook.com/BostonsexED) as a forum for teens to discuss sexual health, and include weekly polls, quizzes and disease and testing information.
  • Integrating new media and social media with traditional media.
The "Live by Example" Violence Prevention Campaign 
  • A Youth Media Council working to advise campaign planning
  • Grants of $10,000 given to 9 youth-serving community organizations for youth to create their own media projects 
  • Developing campaigns core message from media projects created by youth
  • Using Facebook to build a community of engaged youth
  In this seminar you will learn what was involved in designing and executing these campaign, what were the challenges and successes, how success was measured and how to engage teens to create their own peer driven messages.


Co-Sponsored by:

Project New Media Literacies (NML), a research initiative based within MIT's Comparative Media Studies program, explores how we might best equip young people with the social skills and cultural competencies required to become full participants in an emergent media landscape and raise public understanding about what it means to be literate in a globally interconnected, multicultural world.

The white paper Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century (Jenkins et al., 2006) identifies the three core challenges: the participation gap, the transparency problem and the ethics challenge, and shares a provisionary list of skills needed for full engagement in today's participatory culture. In the video below, members of the NML team share their thoughts and perspectives on the skills we call the New Media Literacies.

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