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Media Literacy, Teaching and Learning And 21st Century Skills:


SEMINAR TITLE: Student As Researcher, Producer and Publisher: New Media, Education, and Journalism

This wiki is a compilation of video and other resources from a 90-minute breakout seminar involving about 40 participants at the 2009 Media Literacy Conference: 21st Century Skills, held Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009, at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., and sponsored by Home Inc. and Project New Media Literacies at MIT.

      • Higher-resolution versions of the videos may be launched below

    In the last couple of years, a new term has been added to the lingo of media-literacy educators -- "news literacy." What is news literacy and how does it related to now well-established world of media literacy? In a breathtakingly fast 90-minute overview, nine practioners provide specific examples of journalism in American secondary-school classrooms, including the latest uses of Internet technology. We'll stream and video archive this example-packed session. Bring your examples, too.

    This workshop will look at the role of citizen journalism and new media has in teaching and learning and shaping the discussion about critical social, political and technical issues with K-12 students. We will explore the use of the web, blogs, on line surveys and other social media tools and how to apply the principles of journalism in shaping their use in the classroom.

    After quick videos, we'll dissolve into three breakouts, so we can all deep-dive into the presentors that are of most interest. These breakouts will last 20 minutes and will repeat, so you can attend two of three breakouts during the entire session. We'll then reconvene to share what we've learned and propose next steps.

    Breakout notes

          1. How to get started -- Tools, technologies, practical steps. With Melissa Wantz, Diana Mitsu Klos and Michael McSweeney and other presenters. NOTES FROM THE GETTING STARTED SESSION
          2. Building virtual and real communities, and the student as civic participant. with Dare Brawley, Melissa Wantz and Diana Laufenberg and other presenters. NOTES FROM THE PARTICIPATION SESSION
          3. The pedagogy of journalism -- integrating with legacy curricula. With Michael McSweeney and Alan Weintraut and other presenters. NOTES FROM THE PEDAGOGY SESSION

    About the convenor

    Bill Densmore is director/editor of the Media Giraffe Project at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and the New England News Forum. He is a Fellow at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism. He is a co-founder of CircLabs Inc., a Bay Area startup, which is developing a new way for users to discover, share, create, discuss and exchange value with publishers. Media Giraffe, launched in March 2005, in an effort to find and spotlight individuals making sustainable, innovative use of media (old and new) to foster participatory democracy and community.


    Before resolving into three breakouts, we watched 13 minutes worth of 90-second videos illustrating the efforts of our presenters from California to Virginia to Massachusetts ... to rural China.

    Topic: How to manage online comments

    • Melissa Wantz – all comments come to her mailbox first, but she is surprised that there is almost no nasty stuff.
    • Online paper called the Wayland [Mass.] Student Press. Most positive but a few have slammed kids. They don’t publish them. Some are anonymous. New this year your comments can no longer be anonymous.
    • Alan Weintraut says this year their comments have to include an email address.
    • Steve Wilmarth: Comment threads can be easily set up so that they can be modified. Alan’s point about empathy – learning from the process of empathy about how to behave as citizens.

    What happens when student media reaches the larger world?

    • Discussion about what happens when work students produce goes out the world, rather than the town or a school.
    • In Swampscott, school authorities Ok with closed-circulate local cable, but have some concerns about web video.
    • Steve Wilmarth: Only US schools are more censored than China.

    Joanna --- Use TeacherTube instead of YouTube.

    Media teacher in Watertown: Nothing but positive experiences. Superintendent very positive; YouTube is not blocked. Have sessions in interactive journalism. New class: “Armedia” –


    Here are what participants said they need:

    1. Flip phone and how to use it
    2. Which of the group will talk about engagement with HS students with journalism in their communities.
    3. How to approach journalism without calling it journalism
    4. How to assess and grade these projects
    5. How do we get distribution – content seen (see BeTheMedia handbook)
    6. – new media tools for journalism come talk to him Aaron Leventhal
    7. How to balance money/equipment vs. greater outreach
    8. How to address liability, censorship / “barriers and challenges”




    • Dare Brawley is a high-school senior at the Poughkeepsie Day School i Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and editor of the school's feminist magazine called "Scarlet" created and read in grades 7-12. [1] / cell: (914) 475-7240
    • Diana Mitsu Klos runs the the American Society of News Editor's high-school journalism program and support services, including the largest online hosting service for multimedia-student generate news. [2] / 703-453-1125
    • Diana Laufenberg, teaches at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, and will talk about her election-day project in which students recorded their impressions and involvement in the 2008 presidential election. Laufenberg was a participant in the Journalism That Matters conference, "Rebooting the News," in October, 2008 at Temple University, and a signator of the "Consensus Statement on the Importance of News Literacy." [3] / (928) 607-8142.
    • Joanna Marinova is co-director of programs and operations at in Boston. Press Pass TV is a youth-adult partnership non-profit whose mission is to produce socially responsible video journalism, which promotes a more diverse media, empowers communities, and increases civic engagement. [4] / work: 617-633-1659.
    • Michael McSweeney is English department chair at Reading (Mass.) Memorial High School, where a new initiative asks all juniors to complete a podcast telling a community slice-of-life human-interest story. [5] / work: 781-944-8200 ext. 337.
    • Dean Miller is director of The Center for News Literacy in the Journalism School at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, N.Y., and a former daily newspaper editor from Idaho and the Northern Rockies. A former Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, he advised students journalists while studying management and comparative religion. [6] / (631) 632-1893.
    • Sarah Platanitis teaches journalism and English in Holyoke, Mass. Using Flip digital camera, her students will prepare a short video for Oct. 24. She is a graduate of the Reynolds High School Journalism Institute. [7] / (413) 530-7006.
    • Melissa Wantz teaches at Foothill Technology High School in Ventura, Calif., where journalism -- all online -- is being re-introduced after a five-year hiatus. Wantz used Joomla! to develop an online news site "The Foothill Dragon") incorporating social-networking tools, video, polls, comments, contests and including Ning, Google wikis and Google docs for student peer editing. She is a graduate of the Reynolds High School Journalism Institute. [8] / work: 805-289-0023 ext. 2602.
    • Lynn Washington runs the Convergent Media Magnet Program at Richland Northeast High School in Columbia, S.C. The program combines newspaper, broadcast, yearbook and graphic design. She is also a Model United Nations Advisor. [9] / (803) 699-2800 ext. 79751.
    • Alan Weintraut teaches at Annandale High School in Fairfax County, Va., and was the Dow Jones High School Journalism Teacher of the Year two years ago. [10] / (703) 642-4229. cell: 202-360-0080.
    • Stephen Wilmarth, ran the Center for 21st Century Skills in Connecticut for four years and helps MIT with New School Student Ambassadors, a program teaching media skills to secondary-school students in rural China as a way of [ giving "voice"] to the disenfranchised. He lectures at Ningxia Radio & TV University, Ningxia Vocational Polytechnic University and Ningxia Teachers University. [11] / (860) 227-1225.

    WATCH SHORT-FORM VIDEOS (1-2 minutes each)