Research Presentation 1 – Media Literacy Scholarship – Bellin Gallery

Privacy and Media Literacy Education: A New Global Study

Sherri Hope Culver – Temple University

Media literacy educators are engaging students in discussions exploring the impact of media and information; they are encouraging students to analyze media institution ownership and influence, and helping students to build the hands-on skills necessary to participate in the creation of media and information.
But to what extent are educators addressing the balance of privacy and transparency when it comes to personal information, government requests, and commercial interests. To what extent are they discussing the purpose of personal privacy; understanding privacy implications when using digital technologies, or discussing freedom of expression and access to information?
To what extent are these topics being discussed when educators bring MIL into their classrooms, afterschool programs and experiential learning environments?
This presentation will share data from a research study conducted with over 200 educators across 22 countries. Research for the report was conducted by the UNESCO-UNAOC University Network on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural dialogue (MILID), and members of the Global Alliance for Partnerships in MIL (GAPMIL).
An understanding of Internet privacy is, at its core, an understanding of how media and information is created, analyzed, distributed, and monetized, and the critical thinking competencies to make decisions based on that understanding. In this way, Internet Privacy must be seen as a Media and Information Literacy (MIL) competency. While privacy as a concept is separate from MIL, the competencies that one needs to protect one’s privacy, demand one’s right to privacy, or to act wisely about what information one shares, are MIL competencies.

Media Literacy @Your Library

Mary Moen – University of Rhode Island

School and public youth librarians understand the importance of critically analyzing and evaluating the media messages that bombard our daily lives. Information literacy skills have traditionally been the focus but now librarians are asking: How does media literacy expand on the core beliefs of libraries and how can I collaborate with other media literacy educators to better serve the needs of children and teens?
Media Smart Libraries, an IMLS grant-funded project addressed this issue by bringing together the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Library and Information Studies (GSLIS) in partnership with the Providence Children’s Film Festival and the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services on a two-year project to increase the digital and media literacy competencies of school and public youth librarians and raise the awareness of the role of libraries in advancing digital and media literacy.
To accomplish this goal, MSL designed an online badge system to motivate and reward school and public librarians for increasing their digital and media literacy competencies. Participants in the badge program attended one continuing education workshop and completed four points worth of activities per badge. Librarians could self-direct their learning pathway and be recognized for their media proficiency in Access & Use, Analyze & Evaluate, Create & Collaborate, Reflect, and Take Action. The purpose of this research project is to explore the learning activities that badge earners submitted as evidence of their proficiency. Through content analysis of the learning activities, the aim of this research project is to add to the knowledge base of professional learning in digital and media literacy and increase awareness of how libraries are supporting youth through new services and programs.
By engaging a broad community of experts to develop and drive the professional development program for practicing librarians, MSL hopes to to improve media literacy across Rhode Island and raise awareness of librarians as co-teachers in media literacy. Through images and infographics participants in this session will be able to explore and identify connections between all media educators that can strengthen the media literacy community.

Older Adults Social Media Usage and Media Literacy Education

David Magolis – Bloomsburg University

An often-overlooked segment in media literacy education is older adults. This segment of internet and social media users did not matriculate through K-12 or college with communication technologies that today’s students experienced. The majority of media literacy education research and education focuses on K-12 and college-aged learners. Therefore, have these older individuals received media literacy education? If so, who and how are these individuals receiving media literacy education? A 2014 Pew Research study found that 71% of American adult Internet users and 57% of all American adults use Facebook. In fact, the age group that saw the biggest jump in number of users from 2013 to 2014 was users 65 years of age and older. Are we doing enough to provide media literacy education to this growing segment of media users? This phenomenological investigation examined the lived experiences of older adult social media usage and level of media literacy instruction. The research method included semi-structured, in-depth, and an iterative interview process by the researcher. The researcher sought answers to the older adults lived experiences with media usage, media literacy instruction, and whether or not, and in what manner, they would take part in formal instruction about media communications. Three main themes emerged through the interview process and will be discussed during this presentation. Our findings indicate that most older adult media users would participate in a media literacy related educational course and provides some ideas about what topics the participants would prefer the course to cover. The researcher will also discuss how media literacy education can significantly enhance how older adult users access, analyze, evaluate, and act with all forms of communication.

Workshop 2 – Digital Literacy & Project-based Learning – Sprague Room

Redefining Students’ Research in the Classroom

Erica DeVoe, Amanda Murphy, and Marianne Mirando – Westerly High School

Traditionally, research (as a verb) has been an “event” in secondary classrooms. The teacher assigns as topic or time period, students trudge to the library to access books via the card catalogue (paper or digital), they copy down some information, regurgitate it in their essay, poster, or presentation, and then the teacher can cross “teaching research” off the To-Do List. But in an age when information can bombard a student from every angle, teachers need to reconceptualize what research is and adjust how they teach these skills in a way that moves beyond keyword searches and scholarly databases with filtered information. This Teaching Workshop will highlight progressive approaches to research that aim to create “conversations” of resources centered around an essential question or theme using the inquiry cycle as a foundation. Presenters will share assignments that have challenged students across disciplines and grade levels to access a variety of resources and evaluate those resources using multiple measures. Educators from the middle grades and higher education may also find strategies that can be applicable for their student populations.

A Student Term Project in Digital Literacy Across the Curriculum

Frank Romanelli & Anthony Garro – University of Rhode Island

The teaching and learning of writing lends itself to studying topics across the curriculum. When studying writing in electronic environments, students are asked to complete a term project, through which they apply their learning by presenting how digital literacy is used in their areas of study or majors. Their task is metacognitive: to use what they learned in class to present their findings. The project can be anything from a field study, a research project, or the creation of some type of digital medium or production. This presentation will explore this project, and show examples of student work. The goal is to show how digital literacy applies to all topics and subjects.  Participants will be invited to participate live in an open hybrid discussion.


Workshop 3 – Media Literacy & Human Experience – Carleton Room 

Engaging the Digitally Distracted Student

Joni Siani – Mt. Ida College

The digital revolution has presented educators with a paradox of both incredible teaching tools and also increased distractions and unintended consequences.
One of the biggest issues facing educators is how to meet the learning objectives of course material to students who are compelled to check and respond to their social media activities, texting friends and parents, and constant digital disruptions. In addition to classroom challenges, administrators are struggling with creating effective cell phone policies, determine consequences for misuse of digital devices, and address the sexting epidemics.
Media Scholar and Social Scientist Joni Siani has been piloting a revolutionary program in middle, high and higher educational school settings that has students (and teachers) actually removing their social media apps from their phones. Siani explains, “the truth is, the first ‘digitally socialized’ generations are begging for help.” Empathetically understanding their world and providing students with the truth about the shaping effects of their digital demands and specific strategies to give them the break they need, has had students finding a sense of “relief.”
Professor Siani created an educational program based on her solutions-oriented research featured in the award-winning documentary Celling Your Soul. This 30-minute workshop provides educators with the framework and strategies that has seen proven results. The No App For Life program is a three-step system based on Honesty – Boundaries – Protocol.
Siani understands that just as every home and family has a unique culture, schools do as well. This program provides educators with the basic concepts to address the complex issues of smart phone technology in school environments and develop workable guidelines through empowerment of students and teachers together.

The Future of Media Literacy: Advances in The Human-Machine Connection

Renée Cherow-O’Leary – Education for the 21st Century

In 2014, I wrote a journal article and delivered a paper on the topic of the human-machine connection. * It focused on the work of Kevin Kelly, Ray Kurzweil, and Sherry Turkle and built on the brilliant insights of Buckminster Fuller, Henry Jenkins, Jaron Lanier and Neil Postman—all theorists of a new consciousness emerging from our constant interaction with our technologies and their effect on our brains, our hearts and even on our “souls,” our very humanity. The three years since have produced a plethora of “communication experiments,” reaching out in an unprecedented manner to extend our senses (as Marshall McLuhan predicted) into alternate realities—augmented, virtual, robotic, global, potentially extraterrestrial, where parallel universes,  genetic modifications and life extension are posited by reputable scientists.  We also have seen the consequences of our new tools of social media that offer instantaneous communication and have created a new political “reality,” a complex and constant stream of information that can be hacked and “re-tweeted” by others without filters or scruples inaugurating an era of what has been called “post-truth.”   Our businesses cannot exist without “big data” and “analytics.”  Our physical reality is increasingly linked through “the internet of things.”Though these may seem far from our traditional conceptions of media literacy—access, analyze, evaluate and create media—I contend that we ignore at our peril the extraordinary cultural transformations an interlinked mediated society are evoking and evolving.  This presentation will synthesize these new cultural trends to explore how media literacy education can now expand its definition, its reach and its impact .

*Paper delivered at the Fairfield University Media Literacy Research Conference on March 21, 2014.

Article: “The Future of Media Literacy: The Human-Machine Connection,” The Journal of Media Literacy, 2014-Volume 61-Number 1 & 2, pp. 65-69.

Workshop 4 – Social Media Literacy – Philbrick Room

Want Students To Read Quality News? Have Them Open Snapchat, Not A Newspaper

Adam Chiara – University of Hartford

Having young minds form positive news consumption habits is critical in our new media environment. However, too often educators try to force old school methods on students, turning them off to reading news all together.
We try to force our students to read the printed versions of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and we shame students when they receive their news from social media platforms. That’s a problem, and it’s lazy on our part, especially when there is Snapchat. Snapchat as a news source is overlooked and underrated. News on Snapchat actually more closely resembles the traditional way news was delivered before Facebook, Twitter and Google news. Snapchat does not use algorithms, and news producers make the stories specifically for the platform. Major media outlets like the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN and National Geographic produce enterprise stories for Snapchat once a day. Snapchat has 150 million daily users, and the majority of them are 13 to 34 year olds. The infrastructure is already there — it’s time we as educators educate ourselves about what Snapchat is doing and take advantage of it.

YouTube Culture in the classroom

Zoey (Xuezhao) Wang – University of Rhode Island/Rhode Island College

YouTube, with its media production and distribution, as well as social networking functions, has become an important resource and venue for students and teachers to learn, connect, collaborate, and to create original and meaningful media. As a participatory culture, YouTube and its community(ies) provide(s) easy entry, diverse resources, and strong peer support for teachers and learners to engage in a variety of civic and creative ways. Engaging and interacting on well-connected YouTube community also make learning creative and fun. In this workshop, the presenter will introduce ways in which teachers and students can engage in the YouTube community. The presenter will also briefly analyze the YouTube culture, showcasing ways of starting and running YouTube channels and uploading videos, communicating with audiences, as well as examples that teachers can use to generate media literacy conversations.


Workshop 5 – Media Production and Literacy Skills – Camp Room

PSA as a Radio Media Literacy Production

Morgan Jaffe – WBCA102.9 FM,  Boston

Low power FMs (LPFMs) are non-commercial stations that operate at a smaller service area than commercial radio stations, allowing us the unique ability to truly strengthen community identity and focus on what affects our local neighborhoods, including local news, talk, and music. In my community radio experiences, I tend to work with youth and give students from K-12 and colleges the chance to learn more about radio broadcasting. Because LPFMs are non-commercial, nonprofits are able to promote many community service related projects.

Many radio stations air public service announcements (PSAs). Whenever I can, I turn creating PSAs into an opportunity for media literacy. Youth find and research local nonprofits to build community awareness. PSAs are also a chance to analyze the language used in commercials, underwriting, and PSAs, and think critically about how companies and organizations are marketing towards them and other target audiences. Youth then write, record, and edit PSA scripts, giving them the opportunity to use 21st century literacy skills and technology skills for a real world setting; their PSAs are later aired on the radio. This also further connects the community, bridging nonprofits, schools, and community radio.

Media Literacy through Media Making: A Hands-On Creative Workshop

Wendy Rivenburgh – Education Development Center

Youth media presents an ideal opportunity to engage youth in hands-on, collaborative learning that builds 21st century and media literacy skills. The YouthLearn Team at Education Development Center has been working in the field of youth media for the past 15 years, building on and refining our experience leading youth media and project-based learning programs in informal and formal settings. We have learned a lot about what it takes to engage youth in meaningful learning.

In this hands-on, creative workshop, we will explore the power and relevancy of youth media making in the current social landscape. Participants will appreciate why youth connect so readily to media creation, and begin to understand the real benefits and opportunities of bringing media making into their classrooms or program sites. We will examine youth media not only as a product but also as a practice. Further, we will explore media literacy and the media-making process through a hands-on, collaborative activity, and encounter the “Create with purpose” philosophy and criteria to guide instruction and learning.

To realize the potential of youth media to transform student learning, it’s critical to cultivate young people’s skills in analyzing and critiquing media, to support idea development on the issues they care about, and to utilize technology tools in order to create and share a compelling work with an audience.

We have found that schools are not generally embracing the unique potential youth media brings to learning. Multiple barriers exist to weaving youth media projects in formal education, such as the narrowing of curriculum and lack of professional development. Through our project work, however, we have learned that with the right supports, any educator, anywhere can facilitate meaningful media making activities that promote media literacy and empower youth to create media with purpose.

Workshop 6 – Digital & Media Literacy Resources – Blue & White Room

GLANCE: Leveraging Digital Media to Create a Staircase of Complexity

Andrea Tejedor – Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery CSD

How can the use of digital media create more time, space and support in a curriculum for close reading? Participants will examine how multi-modal “texts” can be used to support reading and provide a scaffold for students as they explore a central, grade-appropriate text. We’ll also consider how the use of digital media impacts the reading process for students (Grades 3-12).

GLANCE is a protocol that leverages multi-media to differentiate the format of a text so students can utilize diverse learning styles to engage in close reading. GLANCE is an acronym for:

G = Glance

Students look at a series of images that are related to a topic and write what they see.

L = Listen

Students listen to an audio recording and write what they hear, what they think about the text, their general impressions, etc. (inferential).

A = Annotate

As the students read, they should have a conversation with the text. Students may ask questions, comment on the words or format of the text, note how the author uses language, respond to the emotions that surface as they read, and/or connect ideas to other texts or their own life (inferential).

N = Notice

Students draw inferences from a graphical representation of the text that logically follows from what they have read, heard and seen.

C = Create

Students play with the vocabularies and create something from the text.

E = Evaluate

Students evaluate their work and answer the following questions:

  • What did you learn?
  • What do you see that is similar in each part? What do you see that is different?

After they answer the questions they write three things they learned from the process, by re-reading their annotations, examining patterns and repetition in the text and in their notes, and ultimately determine possible meanings (meta-cognition).

Engagement of the audience – 200 words maximum 

During this session, participants will actively engage in the steps, texts, and activities associated with GLANCE. Specifically, the participants will:

G = Glance

L = Listen

A = Annotate

N = Notice

C = Create

E = Evaluate.

Participants will look at a series of photographs (Glance), listen to a recording (Listen), annotate a text (Annotate), draw inferences from graphical representations (Notice), play with the vocabularies (Create), reflect on their learning (Evaluate).

10 Ways to Infuse Digital Media Literacy into the Secondary Classroom

Carolyn Fortuna – Rhode Island College

Join the 2015 ILA Grand Prize Award winner for Reading and Technology as she unveils her Top Ten list of strategies for secondary digital media literacy instruction. Come away with a toolkit of e-learning modules, curated collections of digital media texts, advertisement analyses, digital argumentation, transformative composing, personal websites — and more!


Workshop 7 – Images, Films & Media Literacy – Clocktower Room

Lights! Camera! Action! – Media Literacy Using Film

Pam Steager – Providence Children’s Film Festival

Using film and video in the classroom, library, or community can be so much more than just suggesting or screening quality films. With the world of film quite literally at the fingertips of youth today, it’s more important than ever to encourage them to become literate, critical viewers and media makers, not just passive consumers of movies and other media. Introducing set-up questions before a screening, using the pause button, and adding film discussion and activities post-screening can be utilized to enhance both film education and media literacy. This interactive session will provide ideas, examples, and resources for how you can get the most out of high quality independent and international films, documentaries and Hollywood blockbusters in your library, school or community organization.

How do images impact mood and behavior? Observations from a program to promote empathy and kindness

David Fryburg – Envision Kindness

In general, we don’t consciously consider that what we see can affect our mood and behavior. Although there are images that can disgust and others that elate and amuse, people view themselves as having a stable personality that is independent and transcends these momentary exposures. Research has shown that, contrary to that view, negative images of violence, strife, greed, and disaster can rapidly induce anxiety, fear, and depression. A small amount of research has shown that a short, uplifting video can elevate or inspire people and express willingness to volunteer.
The speaker posits that just as “you are what you eat,” “you are what you see.” The negative imagery that is repeatedly delivered through mainstream media negatively affects personal psychology as well as diminishes interpersonal connection and happiness. It makes us more fearful, anxious, and less likely to be empathetic, compassionate, and kind. It desensitizes us. In contrast, images showing acts of kindness would not only elevate mood but also stimulate new acts of kindness. To do so, a nonprofit called Envision Kindness was created to collect and share images of kindness and compassion to inspire new acts of kindness. Programs that challenge students to create still and video images of kindness have been conducted showing transformational changes in students and teachers. Research conducted by Envision Kindness on the effects of different types of images shows the potency of kindness and compassion images on naïve viewers. During this talk, we will discuss the existing literature as well as Envision Kindness’ work.