Educaiton and Policy

New Media, New Culture, New Education (excerpt - Harvard 2009)

Media literacy concepts and curriculums have evolved since the 1970s, building on successes and incorporating new pedagogies to engage the learner. Although much has improved, there are four major problem areas, in addition to the myriad of internal conflicts, with the current state of media literacy in the United States. First is an issue with the terminology itself; the phrase ‘media literacy’ does not adequately represent the complexity or significance of the practice. Second, in many instances, media literacy is based on a model developed two decades ago, which positions the student as a powerless victim of the media and uses a pedagogy based on that assumption. Third, there is a lack of comprehensive, critical media concepts taught in traditional school curriculum. Finally, digital culture is changing the way we communicate and it is necessary that we change the way we teach and interact with media to represent these societal changes.

As stated by Tessa Joles (2008) and the Center for Media Literacy “Media no longer just influence our culture. They are our culture”(p. 42). Media literacy, or media education, therefore, is positioned to be at the crux of art, culture, entertainment, politics, business, and identity formation. Only with a solid understanding of technology, and the ability to communicate on a global level using many types of media, will our young people be able to fully participate in the future we are creating. A comprehensive media education must go beyond the deconstruction of media; it must guide a young person through the process of creating media messages of various types and explore the new skills that become necessary as we shift from a culture of individual expression to a participatory community (Henry Jenkins, 2006). In addition, it must be a core part of education, not just an activity in a single class or after-school program.


I am a guest on the YVC news program

I helped create and produce this youth news TV program. In this excerpt, I talk about net neutrality and the FCC public hearing at Harvard Law School in March 2008. Thank You to the YVC production team!


Discussing the Summer Media Institute in 2006

Jennifer and I talk to some of the SMI participants about the experience. An informal, fun look at the program.

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