On Friday April 19, Cyndy Scheibe, Executive Director and Founder of Project Look Sharp, and Chris Sperry, Director of Curriculum and Staff Development for Project Look Sharp presented as keynote speakers at the 11th Annual Northeast Media Literacy Conference. Sperry and Scheibe also hosted individual workshops on socioemotional learning, health education, and media decoding during the event.
The Northeast Media Literacy Conference is an annual event that aims to promote knowledge and understanding of media literacy amongst those influencing today’s young people. Representatives from over 25 nations united at this year’s conference entitled, “Media Literacy in a Digital Information Age” held at the University of Connecticut.
As keynote speakers, Scheibe and Sperry drew upon their personal experiences with media literacy, and their work with Project Look Sharp and emphasized the importance of media literacy in today’s technologically advanced world. In the morning keynote, Scheibe introduced the theoretical frameworks for integrating critical thinking and media literacy into the K-12 curriculum. The luncheon keynote by Sperry highlighted his award-winning curriculum that engages and empowers adolescents through participation in Middle East Debates.
Both Scheibe and Sperry have a vast amount of knowledge and experience in the field of media literacy. Scheibe’s independent work includes books, articles, and teaching media literacy as an associate professor at Ithaca College. Sperry has 30 years of teaching experience in the K-12 education system where he has practiced integrating media literacy into the core curriculum.
Together, Scheibe and Sperry have worked with Project Look Sharp, a media literacy initiative out of Ithaca College, to generate media literacy curriculum kits, professional development services for educators, and media literacy awareness nationwide. Project Look Sharp now has 20 media literacy kits that include detailed teacher guides and lessons for classroom decoding of historic documents. These kits have been specifically made for K-12 classrooms and college level courses. All kits are available free online with hard copy kits sold at cost through the Ithaca College bookstore.