Thursday, October 15, 2009

Media Literacy, teaching and learning and 21st Century Skills

HOME, Inc.
165 Brookside Avenue Extension · Jamaica Plain, MA · 02130

HOME, Inc. Contact: Alan Michel, Phone 617.427.4663,
PR Agency Contact: David Scher, Phone 978.395.5068,

MEDIA LITERACY CONFERENCE – October 24th, 8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Media Literacy, 21st Century Skills

Boston, MA – HOME, Inc., TechFoundation and MIT Comparative Media Studies, partner on a one-day conference on Media Literacy. The event is scheduled for October 24th and will take place at the MIT Campus: Building E51 (Tang Center), from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. This year’s conference theme is “Media Literacy, 21st Century Skills”.

Educational decision makers, curriculum developers, after-school program coordinators, superintendents, instructors and community leaders are all welcome to attend and participate in relevant panel discussions and breakout sessions. The conference is the third to be held on a biennial schedule and will feature today’s most topical subject-matter including: “Education in Transition to 21st Century Learning”, “Student as Researcher, Producer and Publisher: New Media, Education and Advocacy”, “Media Educations’ Role in Teaching 21st Century Skills”, “Media and Public Health…Changing Behavior Through Advocacy and Media Creation”, “Media as Experiment and as Identity Guide During Adolescence” and “Adolescence and the Intersection of the Media’s Images of Success”. The event will feature leaders in the field of media literacy Including prominent educators, filmmakers, public health workers and representatives from organizations dedicated to developing programs that promote and generate awareness to the subject of media literacy.

The conference will continue it’s tradition of providing two tracks covering topics relating to “in-school” and “after school” media literacy program development. There will also be a special presentation of the second Dola Award for Media Literacy in Education. This award is meant to acknowledge and encourage outstanding media literacy education that encourages collaboration, communication, and innovation in the use of media to challenge students to learn and succeed. HOME, Inc. Board Member, Dola Hamilton Stemberg, is the benefactor of this biennial award, which will be presented to a school and teacher that have made outstanding contributions to teaching and learning with media in the classroom.

Four years have passed since our inaugural Media Literacy Conference. Tremendous changes in how technology is used to communicate and share information through social networks and self-published content continue to influence how we approach the subject of media literacy with today’s youth. A whole generation of educators are faced with the challenge of having to dissect and interpret how these new social channels can be used as tools to educate and promote positive messages.

It feels right for us to take a look again at where we are and just how much progress has been made in shaping Media Literacy to meet today’s frenetic pace. What are the new challenges we face? Which social networks are causing the biggest stir? How will Smartphones, Netbooks, PDAs, Handheld Camcorders forever change the way we see our world and communicate with each other? How will we define what is news or what information is worthy of following? Come join us as we explore these topics and examine the role of today’s educator.

To register for this year’s event, visit the HOME, Inc. registration website at . If you require any additional information on this event please contact us at or by phone at (617) 427-4663.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Students at Brighton High Attend Inauguration and Examine the Political Process

The Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States was attended by nearly 2 million people, a record breaking turnout for a historic and symbolic event. Among the hoards gathered on the National Mall on the chilly January morning to welcome the new president were 30+ students from Brighton High School, one of HOME's media lab partner schools.

The students brought video and still cameras along to document the experience and captured some great footage of themselves and their peers at the historic event. Two students in Brighton High's Journalism class, Felton Cotijo and Nelson Silizav, will team up with lab coordinator Stephen LoVerme to create a first hand video memoir of the event.

Cortijo, who snuck away from the group with a friend in order to get a better look describes the experience. "It was touching to see people hugging each other and crying, and how excited they were. It was like hearing your favorite line in a song you like and getting excited." Silieza was also struck by the emotions of his peers and teachers. "I looked over at Mr. Phil", recalls Silieza, "and saw that he was crying. He grew up during segregation." Both students agree that the experience is one they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Jumping back several months, Brighton High School students delved deep into the issues at the heart of the debate of the upcoming election. Teacher Vanessa Foster teamed up with LoVerme for a comprehensive election unit comprised of several projects including a "Letter to the Next President" essay, campaign video ads and a mock election/survey. The mock election had an interesting twist; in addition to a general vote between Obama and McCain, students were asked to choose between two positions on issues such as gun violence, immigration, the war in Iraq, education and the economy, but without specifying which position belonged to which candidate. The election results saw Obama winning by a large margin, but it was observed that McCain gained a significant amount of support on the issues when the candidates were not specified. The election results were visualized in a series of graphs.

To read the letters visit

Leading up to the election the class broke into groups, each being assigned a candidate and an issue. The groups then did research on the issues, each producing a hallway display and and a persuave video ad for their candidate. A compilation of the ads can be viewed on

Traveling back even further in time, students at Social Justice Academy expressed their views on the historic Democratic primary race of 2008 in a 10 minute video called "Becoming President".