July 30 — 5:23 am, 2009

Motown here I come

namle aug

Forget for a minute the shadow over the city of Detroit. I don’t want to focus on the auto industry crisis or the city’s political drama – Detroit’s former mayor, Kwame M. Kilpatrick,served prison time. I just want to go back to the time, when the Motown sound provided a soulful message and gave you a reason to clap your hands and dance to the beat.   

Can you believe Motown is celebrating its 50th anniversary?

So what better place to have this year’s annual National Association Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) conference, but Detroit, MI (August 1- 4)?

The NAMLE conference will feature the latest theory, research, and strategies in media literacy education. The theme, "Bridging Literacies . . . Critical Connections in a Digital World" speaks to the educational challenges facing teachers, schools, and administrators today.

This year’s conference will host more than sixty events, including keynotes, workshops, screenings, special interest caucuses, and roundtable discussions.

Thanks in part to support from the Marci Resnick Teacher Fund, I will attend this year’s conference and present some of my media literacy teacher-practitioner research.

I will share my curriculum unit “MySpace in Democracy” which conducts an inquiry with my middle school students on how social networks and media technologies promote and disrupt democratic practices. Last summer I developed this curriculum while participating in the Democracy in Theory and Practice seminar at Yale National Initiative. This summer I am expanding this curriculum and sharing on it Curriki, an online community for creating and sharing open source curricula.

I am excited to share my practice with other educators, media professionals, youth advocates, and researchers. I should also learn new strategies, techniques, and tools for media literacy and develop new ideas to promote media literacy. Of course I will share some of this good stuff on some future blog posts.

The conference will host a number of special events including, the launch of the new Journal of Media Literacy Education and the Modern Media Makers (m3) production camp for high school students.

The conference will close with a celebration of Motown’s 50th anniversary. Of course I am taking my dancing shoes.

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