Harvard Launches New Program for Educators on Media Literacy and Civic Engagement

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Applications are now being received for Books, Movies, and Civic Engagement, a professional education offering on campus at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, June 20 – 24, 2016.

“It’s like a film festival for educators” - Tonya Lewis Lee

The program will convene teachers, media specialists, school leaders, after-school program leaders, and others committed to using transmedia storytelling – telling a single story across multiple media platforms – to help young people engage with challenging cultural and social justice issues.

“It’s like a film festival for educators,” said Tonya Lewis Lee, who has joined the program faculty along with Nikki Silver, her Chief Co-Creator at ToniK Productions. The two will discuss their process and objectives in adapting The Watsons Go To Birmingham for television, along with their brand new project – a film adaptation of Walter Dean Meyers’ novel, Monster. Faculty will also explore transmedia opportunities for Fun Home and Hamilton, both currently very popular on Broadway.

The explosion of books across genres being adapted for the screen (e.g., biography, dystopia, historical fiction) has created exciting new opportunities to employ transmedia storytelling in support of student learning and development. Harvard Graduate School of Education Faculty Co-Chair Robert Selman explains that the program is designed to explore intertextuality, “a term that points to the way different sectors, genres, and media can all come together to promote and enrich storytelling...and build knowledge and sophistication.”

Activities will include plenary sessions, film screenings, and protocols for dialogic instruction — informal conversation between students and teachers to stimulate thinking and advance understanding. Participants will examine issues and stories that are relevant to today’s students in a variety of workshops and explore ways different content platforms can tell the same (or similar) stories.

Faculty co-chairs:

Joe Blatt, senior lecturer on education and faculty director, Technology, Innovation, and Education Program, HGSE Robert Selman, Roy Edward Larsen professor of education and human development, HGSE, and professor of
psychology, Harvard Medical School.

Randy Testa, former vice president of education and professional development, Walden Media Tracy Elizabeth, doctoral candidate in Human Development and Education at HGSE.

BMCE is one of 50+ programs for K-12 teachers and school leaders offered annually, online and on campus, at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Additional program information and application details are available at: http://www.gse.harvard.edu/ppe/programs

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