Media Literacy: Learning and Understanding in the Information Age

Thursday, October 21, 2004
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.



For much of their history, schools have struggled with a scarcity of information, with out-of-date textbooks and under-funded libraries. The materials that reached the classroom were carefully selected. Textbooks in particular were carefully vetted, their content predigested and censored. Today, schools face an explosion of information as the Internet brings the world -- for better or for worse -- into their classrooms. This information glut makes education in media literacy an urgent priority. Students must learn to sort through conflicting claims and unreliable sources; they must learn to recognize bias and special pleading and develop a capacity for evaluating the honesty and the accuracy of what they encounter in cyberspace. This Forum brings international authorities on media literacy together with classroom teachers from the Cambridge-Boston community. The focus will be on concrete ways in which schools are responding to the challenges of learning in the new media environment.


Roberto Aparici is a visiting scholar in Comparative Media Studies at
MIT and director of the Masters Program in New Information and Communication
Technologies at the School of Education, Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia, Spain. He is the author of Educational Communications in an Information Society.

Robyn Quin is Dean of the Faculty of Communications and Creative Industries,
Edith Cowan University in Western Australia. She has been president of the Australian
Teachers of Media and is chair of the Secondary Education Curriculum panel for media
studies. She is currently working on a study of the domestic use of the Internet.

Alycia Scott-Hiser teaches digital art and graphic design at TechBoston Academy. She is completing a Master's Degree of art education at the Massachusetts College of Art using TechBoston Academy as a case study for her thesis, "Creating Effective New Media Art Curricula for Adolescents."

Kim Slack is an education project developer at HOME Inc., a non-profit organization that develops and sustains creative, multidisciplinary arts and education projects. He assists teachers in organizing and researching their projects, including the development of standards-based curricula, and provides direction for the implementation of training sessions for both teachers and students.

Moderator: Alan Michel is the director and co-founder of HOME Inc.