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Ithaca College Media Literacy Program Holds Summer Institute

 ITHACA, NY — Educators will gather at Ithaca College July 16–20 to immerse themselves in the study of media literacy — and how they can pass along their learning to students at all grade levels. The Project Look Sharp Media Literacy Summer Institute offers five days of intensive instruction in the subject.

“The institute is intended for teachers, support staff, college faculty and other professionals working with students in an educational setting,” said Cyndy Scheibe, associate professor of psychology and executive director of Project Look Sharp (PLS). “Participants receive training in the theory and practice of media literacy, learn applications for digital technology and work individually with a ‘coach’ to develop and implement a media literacy integration project.”

The attendees will spend their mornings learning to use media analysis and production to support, deepen, and enliven core curricula through the teaching of critical thinking skills; understand bias in visual representation; evaluate credibility of information; use instructional media effectively; and integrate media production into their teaching. The afternoons will be devoted to learning how to use digital tools — including video, blogs, wikis and podcasts — to explore the connections between media production and media literacy.

Among those taking part in the institute will be educators from the Ithaca City School District; New York City Lab School; Hannibal (N.Y.) Central School District; Park Tudor School in Indianapolis, Indiana; and SUNY Cortland, as well as the founder of MeDIA (Media Education Developing Individual Awareness) and five Master of Arts in Teaching students from Colgate University.

Based in the Ithaca College School of Humanities and Sciences, Project Look Sharp provides lesson plans, materials, training and support for the effective integration of media literacy with critical thinking into classroom curricula at all education levels. It holds regular workshops and has produced more than a dozen free online curriculum kits for teachers on how media “construct” such topics as presidential campaigns, the Middle East, peace and war, social justice, chemicals in the environment and sustainability.

Scheibe teaches and studies developmental psychology, and for the past decade has been working with K–12 educators and teacher education faculty on issues of media literacy. Joining her as instructors for the institute will be

  • Chris Sperry, director of curriculum and staff development for PLS and a teacher at Lehman Alternative Community School, who has developed many of the PLS curriculum kits.
  • Roger Sevilla, an instructional technology staff developer with the Ithaca City School District, who has more than 15 years of experience working with teachers to effectively integrate technology with teaching and learning.
  • Andy Yale, a retired elementary school teacher who now works as a consultant in instructional technology.

For more information on Project Look Sharp and the Media Literacy Summer Institute, visit