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Developing Global Media Literacy Leadership Among Youth

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Published on: 06/22/2011

When/Where: Sunday, 1:15-2:45pm in Ballroom E2.

Presenters: Sherri Hope Culver, NAMLE; Ronnie Lowenstein, NetGeneration of Youth. Presider: Dee Morgenthaler.

Objectives: Learn how a consortium of schools and organizations (including the US State Department’s Global Connections Exchange Africa Program and Global Net Generation of Youth) are using cultural exchange with a focus on media literacy to cultivate youth as global citizens and media literate leaders in the US and Africa.



In 2010 a “global community of practice” (GCOP) was created to cultivate youth as global citizens and media literate leaders in the US and Africa. This GCOP included the US State Department’s Global Connections Exchange Africa Program, Global Net Generation of Youth, three US schools, three schools in Africa, and several partner organizations (including NAMLE). The title of the project is “Cultivating Global NetGeneration of Youth as Global Citizens and Media Literate Leaders in a Global Age”.

This consortium of organizations from the fields of technology, media literacy, academic research, youth leadership and international exchange have joined together in a connectivity project designed to demonstrate how cultural exchange with a focus on media literacy can take place electronically across borders and boundaries. The students are using state of the art technologies and social networking tools to expand their relationships with peers around the world and in doing so learn to understand and appreciate diversity. Media literacy is the connecting thread in the curriculum and in all the activities.

The project is using the NAMLE Core Principles of Media Literacy Education and Five Key Questions as the guiding documents for their curriculum. In Phase Two of the project students will learn about traditional and new media and how these different forms of media influence people’s behavior. Students will examine advertising examples, work with a Ning site, and compare and contrast reactions to the advertising from the different countries represented. The diversity inherent in the project will be a valuable discussion tool for students as they use new media to explore their cultural differences and reflect on the difference when making friends through social media (and exclusively online) vs. a face-to-face exchange. Curriculum will use the categories in the Five Key Questions to guide activities and learning: 1) audience and authorship, 2) messages and meanings, and 3) presentations and reality.

Two goals of the project are:

*for teachers and students to become more culturally aware, civically responsible and empowered with 21st century competencies (i.e. media literacy) and global understanding

*to engage teachers as facilitators of 21st century learning in an ever expanding “Global Community of Practice” that will empower them with new curricular content, instructional strategies and new emerging digital tools that will bring the world into the classroom, even in Africa where interaction with American student peers is not easily accomplished.

In this conference session participants will:

*Gain an understanding of how this project was conceived and funded to help spur others to develop collaborative and/or global media literacy projects

*Learn how the Core Principles and Key Questions can be used in a classroom exchange program or basic classroom media literacy curriculum

*Discover a method for using media literacy to encourage global citizenship

This project directly connects to the NAMLE conference goal to “raise awareness of media literacy education as a tool for social justice and democratic practices”. The presentation is truly an example of the conference theme, Global Visions/Local Connections.

*We hope to have representation at the conference from several of the partners and schools. However, specific commitments are pending at this time. The schools are located in Connecticut, Los Angeles, St. Louis, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia.

Participant Involvement

After a description of the project attendees will be encouraged to share their own narratives of projects they have worked on with a global media literacy theme. We will develop a brief questionnaire to distribute at the start of the session that will help us facilitate this dialogue.


  • Sherri Hope Culver, NAMLE: Sherri serves as President of the National Association for Media Literacy Education. She is an Assistant Professor at Temple University in the Department of Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Mass Media and serves as the Director of the Media Education Lab there. Sherri holds a masters degree in Public Culture from the University of Pennsylvania. She is co-author of book The Media Career Guide and author of the book, The Television and Video Survival Guide.
  • Ronnie Lowenstein, NetGeneration of Youth: Ronnie has been a pioneer of interactive technologies and telecommunication as tools of transformation and partnership development. In 1999, Ronnie launched NetGeneration of Youth (NGY) as a digital empowerment and youth leadership initiative addressing media literacy, civic engagement and youth expression. She has promoted the NGY model in the US and abroad as a method for cultivating youth as 21st century leaders empowered with global competencies & committed to shaping a positive global future.
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