I have been the Executive Director of the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) since 2012. It won’t come as a surprise when I tell you I am incredibly passionate about media literacy. I believe the ability to access, analyze, communicate and create using all types of media is essential to successfully navigate the media saturated world we live in today.
We are consuming and creating media messages all day, every day. These messages inform everything about our lives; the choices we make, the relationships we have, the votes we cast, and the people we become. The NAMLE vision is to help individuals of all ages develop the habits of inquiry and skills of expression that they need to be critical thinkers, effective communicators and active citizens in today’s world. NAMLE is best known for the Core Principles of Media Literacy Education, our biennial conference, and the Journal of Media Literacy Education. Our newest initiative, Media Literacy Week, is being held around the country from November 2nd - 6th 2015.
Media Literacy Week is designed to bring attention and visibility to media literacy education in the United States. Inspired by Canada’s Media Literacy Week now in its 10th year, NAMLE is leading the efforts to create a media literacy week in the United States to showcase the work of amazing media literacy educators and organizations around the country. The mission of Media Literacy Week is to highlight the power of media literacy education and its essential role in education today.
Sponsored by Trend Micro and Nickelodeon, the inaugural U.S. Media Literacy Week is a clear indication of the strength of the U.S. media literacy community. Our list of partners has grown to over 100 and continues to build every day. There are activities being planned from Vermont to California. The calendar of events is simply inspiring. I am hearing from educators and organizations all over the country ready to do their part to make sure media literacy is in every community around the country.
When we set out to launch U.S. Media Literacy Week, I had no idea what to expect. I had hoped we would be able to create some momentum around media literacy. It has truly surpassed my wildest dreams. Each day, my email inbox fills with educators asking how they can get involved and what they can do in their classroom to participate. I am inspired by every person who has reached out to me over the last few months. I am in awe of the efforts being made by long time NAMLE members like Jessica Brown at Gateway Media Literacy Partners who is conducting her 10th Media Literacy Week in St. Louis and Tessa Jolls at the Center for Media Literacy in L.A. who has organized multiple events all over her community every day during media literacy week. The work is simply astounding.
In my job, I am often asked, “what is the state of media literacy education in the U.S.?” Based on the passion and commitment I have seen for Media Literacy Week, I can confidently say the state of media literacy education is strong. And getting stronger every day.
*Please follow all media literacy week activity on Twitter @MediaLiteracyEd #MediaLitWk and like us on Facebook!