PLS Directors to speak on Iran trip after Nov. 25 7pm Screening of “Rosewater” at Cinemapolis

Professor Cyndy Scheibe and LACS teacher Chris Sperry, co-directors of Ithaca College’s media literacy initiative, Project Look Sharp, will be speaking on Tuesday, November 25, after the 7pm showing of Jon Stewart’s film Rosewater about the 2009 imprisonment of a US journalist in Iran.

Scheibe and Sperry recently returned from Iran where they delivered key-note addresses about integrating critical thinking and media literacy into Iranian education at the First International Conference on Media Literacy in Iran.  In their Cinemopolis presentation they will show media, tell stories and interact with the audience about their experiences in Iran and the role of media in shaping our cross-cultural understandings and misunderstandings.

More about their trip can be found at: http://www.looksharpblogs.org/?p=428

Comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Iran Gets Lessons in Media Literacy From Ithaca College Experts

It may be one of the last places in the world you’d expect to be interested in learning how to develop skills in critical thinking and media analysis. But when academics and researchers in Iran decided they needed help with that effort, they turned to two experts from Ithaca College: Cyndy Scheibe and Chris Sperry of Project Look Sharp.

Scheibe and Sperry were invited to serve as keynote speakers at the First International Media Literacy Conference in Iran, held in late October in Tehran.

“The opportunity to participate in this extraordinary event came about when I got an email from the Media Literacy Research Group, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) whose mission is to raise awareness about the effects of media on the worldview and culture of the Iranian people,” says Scheibe. “They were organizing a conference on the topic, and in looking around for who the experts are, they found us.”

Attendees at the conference included university students, educators, administrators, other NGOs, social activists and representatives of the government’s information and education ministries.

“We tend to perceive Iran as hardline and repressive, and that is certainly a major element of their government and society,” says Sperry. “But we were there to support and work with elements in Iran — including some connected to the government — that are authentically pushing for critical thinking, for greater openness and tolerance. Our task was to present models for integrating critical thinking and media literacy into Iranian education in a way that was accessible, exciting and inspiring.”

Scheibe is a professor of psychology and founding director of Project Look Sharp, a program based in the Ithaca College School of Humanities and Sciences that provides training and support for the effective integration of media literacy into classroom curricula at all education levels. Sperry serves as Project Look Sharp’s director of curriculum and staff development.

For their keynote, the two took the stage together, putting on what they call “The Chris and Cyndy Show.” Their presentation was given simultaneous translation into Farsi as they showed snippets of media ranging from newspaper headlines about the ongoing nuclear talks between the U.S. and Iran to clips from the movie “Argo,” about the escape of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran during the 1979–1981 Iran hostage crisis.

“First we needed to explain what we mean by media and expand their notions of it as more than just television and the Internet, to also include books, magazines, newspapers, even money,” says Scheibe. “Then we had to expand their notion of what literacy means in today’s world. So media literacy is ultimately about going beyond just reading and writing, to include creating, analyzing and evaluating media in all these different forms.”

“One thing we wanted to help them understand is that media literacy must be interactive,” says Sperry. “So instead of just lecturing to the audience, we asked questions and invited them to talk back to us as well as to one another. It was very gratifying to see their positive response.”

This isn’t the first time that Scheibe and Sperry have brought Project Look Sharp to the international stage. In 2012, they were invited by the Kingdom of Bhutan to work with educators and students in implementing a media literacy curriculum in the Himalayan nation — the last in the world to receive television.

While they were apprehensive in advance of this trip, Sperry says the only danger they experienced during it was with the crazy traffic in Tehran.

“The people who brought us there want change,” he notes. “We were conscious of not doing anything to undermine our hosts and make it impossible for them to do their work. At the same time, however, we were honest and clear about the importance of asking questions and looking at things from different points of view as being absolutely essential for any kind of media literacy.”

Scheibe and Sperry would be interested in returning to Iran to continue their work, but they’d also like to bring some Iranian students and educators back to Ithaca.

On Tuesday, Nov. 25, they will be giving a presentation on “Teaching Critical Thinking in Iran” following the 7 p.m. screening of “Rosewater” at the Cinemapolis theater in Ithaca.

Directed by “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, the film tells the story of the brutal 2009 imprisonment of a U.S. journalist in Iran. Scheibe and Sperry will tell stories and interact with the audience about their experiences in Iran and the role of media in shaping our cross-cultural understandings and misunderstandings.

For more information on Project Look Sharp, visit www.ithaca.edu/looksharp.

 

Comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Cyndy Scheibe Presents at NCTE Conference

On Friday, November 21st, Dr. Cyndy Scheibe, Executive Director of Project Look Sharp presented at the National Council for Teachers of English annual conference in Washington, DC. Scheibe lead a collective media decoding seminar called As Seen on TV: Engaging All Learners though Close Reading of Fiction and Nonfiction Stories from the Landscape of Television where she used a classic TV commercial to demonstrate how one can combine teaching fiction and nonfiction, and address information literacy goals in judging credibility of information.

Handouts and examples illustraed the integration of media literacy and information literacy into K-12 English education, with an emphasis on inquiry-based approaches that engage students from all backgrounds and abilities. Extensive materials and resources available free of charge for educators on the Project Look Sharp website were also highlighted.  The presentation also showcased a short video about an upcoming initiative, the Media Lit ExChange, designed to provide a platform for teachers and students to share media examples for use in the classroom.

 

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.

 

Comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Sox Sperry Publishes article in “Green Teacher” Magazine

Sox Sperry, the Program Associate at Project Look Sharp, has recently written an article for Green Teacher magazine entitled Sustainability Education and Media Literacy. This article looks how the topic of climate change can often provoke deep emotions in students, and suggests that instead of shying away, [teachers should] use these media literacy activities to foster discussions of what the future holds.

Tim Grant, Editor of Green Teacher summed it up pretty well. “We are very pleased to publish this article in the Fall issue.  [Project Look Sharp] is one of the very few that integrates media literacy and sustainability and have produced high quality education materials that reflect the integration. In your article, you also made the point that it is important to connect to the emotional lives of students when raising the large issue before us. To my mind, this elevates your article above the usual approaches taken by most enviro-curriculum authors.   As a result, we have little doubt that a great many of our readers will be talking about your article for months and years to come.”

Strong words of praise! You can read the article at the link below.

Sustainability Education and Media Literacy (pdf)

Comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Chris Sperry Publishes Article on WWI and Constructivist Media Decoding

Chris Sperry, the Director of Curriculum and Staff Development for Project Look Sharp, has recently written an article for Social Education Magazine entitled WWI Through Constructivist Media Decoding. This article looks at teaching about WWI through interactive decoding (analyzing) of propaganda posters from different countries. It lays out the theory and practice of media analysis for teaching critical thinking, questioning strategies, media literacy and core social studies content.

Some of the main topics of the article include: Constructivist Media Decoding, The Curricula of Adolescence, Teaching Key Concepts of Media Analysis, and Diversifying Our Use of Media Documents. The article focuses on dialogue between teachers and their students, and comments from three high school students on using media decoding in social studies.

This article is aimed towards a target audience of secondary social studies teachers. Chris Sperry believes that the article “enables Project Look Sharp to make social studies teachers aware of our work and free online resources and promotes the theory and practice of media literacy nationwide to a critical audience.”

The print article can be read in full in Social Education Magazine, a publication of the National Council of Social Studies. Or via the PDF link below:

WWIarticle(pdf)

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Environmentalism: The Media Ecosystem

The Ninth Annual Media Literacy Week will be held November 9th through the 16th.  During the week different workshops and activities will be held discussing an array of topics. On Wednesday, November 12th Sox Sperry will be conducting two workshops at St. Louis Community College-Meramec. His first workshop, “From iPad into the Fire: Talking About Climate Using the Tools of Media Literacy” will be held from 9:00-11:00 a.m. His second workshop will pick up at 12 p.m. and run until 2 p.m. This workshop is called “Environmental Front Lines: Learning to Read the World Right Where We Live.” The target audiences for Sperry’s workshops include K-12 and higher education educators in communications, sciences, and educations; higher education students in communications, sciences, and education; and community members interested in media, science and public policy.

Sox Sperry is an award-winning media literacy educator of Project Look Sharp. Sperry is well known for enviro-focused media literacy efforts: Media Construction of Sustainability: Food, Water and Agriculture; Media Construction of Chemicals in the Environment; Media Construction of Endangered Species; Media Construction of Resource Depletion. Sperry has studied local environmental issues and will use some of them for media literacy curriculum integration examples and possibilities.

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.

 

 

Comments

Powered by Facebook Comments