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Sherri’s blog explores topical issues relating to children’s media and media literacy. The blog is available at www.sherrihopeculver.com

Topics have included:

DSC_5079 (1)-media as mirror: representations of difference
-media coverage of the US presidential campaign
-explicit lyrics in popular music
-apps and gender
-talking to children about race in the media
-the influence of media on children’s play
-the mystical magic of algorithms
-smartphone and internet addiction
-tips for media literacy conversations with kids
-government and media: what’s the right role
-from teenager to screenager
-media literacy matters: here’s why
and even a media literacy rhyme (“When I think of media…”) !
Thank you for @ CMA event 2015reading and sharing!

Read more on Sherri’s blog updates…

Categories: Blog

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I didn’t play with dolls much growing up. Even as a kid I was more likely to be gathering friends in my garage to act in my latest directorial creation than inventing storylines with plastic, motionless dolls. But, I’ve grown up to be someone deeply curious about the ways in which creativity is developed, especially for kids, and especially for girls, and especially when that creativity intersects with media. So the news that Mattel has just released three new body types for Barbie made me wonder. Can a change on the outside make a change on the inside? Will Barbie’s new outside encourage different ways of creative play for girls and how they think about themselves on the inside?

Read more on The New Barbie: Can a change on the outside make a change on the inside?…

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Creative commons 2Every week it seems like some organization puts out a list of guidelines for how children should engage with online content. This week Common Sense Media jumped into the fray with a Twitter post including a link to “Responsible Search Strategies for Kids”. I’m always interested to see how people or organizations frame these sorts of tips, so I clicked.

Read more on Search it. Click it. And encourage kids to ask questions….

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Big Bird

Maybe it’s my history working with public television or my strong feeling that all kids need access to quality educational media content, but the article “There Goes the Neighborhood: The Story Behind the New Sesame Street and its Journey to HBO” just makes me sad. 90% of the article is about money. How much of it Sesame Street needs. How much of it HBO can provide. The unintended consequences of the deal are barely addressed, if at all.

Read more on Thoughts on the HBO / Sesame Street deal…

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I am writing this just a few hours after the conclusion of the News Literacy Summit held this past Sunday and Monday in Chicago. I am grateful to the McCormick Foundation for bringing together an impressive group of people passionate about news literacy. I appreciated hearing innovative ideas about how teachers and journalists are bringing news literacy into education and the vital need to help young people feel connected to the news of their community and their world.

Read more on Thoughts on the News Literacy Summit…

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There’s an energy that comes from a place filled with media and the arts and young people that I never tire of.  The Nerve Centre is one of the official “creative learning centers” supported by Northern Ireland Screen. After meeting with Bernard McCloskey at NI Screen, he suggested Martina and I visit this creative learning center to see a few of their projects and people up close. I’m so glad we did! Between the recording studio spaces, the Fab Lab (a 2D & 3D digital fabrication workshop), the “Divided Histories” project exploring conflict education through media, film screenings and numerous other media education and media-making programs, this place is a model for what a local media arts organization can accomplish. One of the special aspects is its ability to look both inward– to serve the local community– and outward– to serve the global community. Projects serve the local community first; but then the knowledge and projects are shared with global collaborators. Example? This past year they brought the “Divided Histories” project to Beirut and Calcutta.

Read more on The Nerve Centre in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland…

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I had the pleasure of visiting Belfast this past week and met with Bernard McCloskey, Head of Education for Northern Ireland Screen. (Thank you Martina Chapman!) Bernard shared a bit about the work being done in NI to help teachers integrate media into their classrooms. NI Screen supports three “creative learning centers” in NI (more on that in my next post) and has kicked off a project titled “Future Classrooms“. Download the “Introducing Mobile Technology” report for a thoughtful review and step-by-step guide for using mobile technology to truly impact learning and student engagement. The work that’s being done to improve media literacy education in this relatively small country is impressive. There appears to be strong collaboration among different groups in developing projects and “best practices” and this effectively creates strong buy-in as the ideas and initiatives develop. Inspiring! I’m looking forward to having the CMIL collaborate with them on a project or try their materials with some Philly teachers. Check it out. p.s. Note to Game of Thrones fans. Visit Belfast and NI for tours and sites from the series. Much of the series is shot there. screen_shot_2013-03-19_at_16.50.32__large

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(Christine Muszynski)
Hello All-

This sadly will be my last blog post to share with you from London. As you know, over the past few weeks my classmates and I have had the chance to visit different professionals in the media industry.

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(Danielle Vallely) This past Monday I had the opportunity to visit the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and talk with Kevin Blacoe, the senior adviser for BBC learning. The atmosphere at BBC is incredibly lively and the employers really take the time to connect with their audience members. Kevin explained that the BBC is constantly looking for new ideas to introduce to their followers. Staying ahead of the game when it comes to technological advances is a prominent reason why this company is so successful.

Read more on A Look at the BBC and CBBC Designs…

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(Patrick Whalen) On Monday we took a trip to the BBC and had a meeting with Kevin Blacoe who is the senior adviser at BBC for policy, public affairs and communications. During our meeting with Kevin he talked about his education, previous work experience before coming to the BBC, as well as what he does under his title at the BBC. I found him to be pretty interesting especially the fact that he went to Temple for a semester.
After that we then went on a tour of the BBC and learned about and saw the various parts of it. We walked around and saw how each one functioned which was very fascinating. I really liked learning how both the TV part and the radio part worked in their own respects and the vast differences between the two. I also enjoyed seeing the large number of people that were working hard while we were walking around and just seeing how they use all that hard work to create what the BBC puts out. The interactive parts of the tour were also a lot of fun.
Before heading to the BBC there was some reading that was required in which I gained some new knowledge. I did not know anything about the BBC prior to the trip so it was interesting reading about it. Upon this reading as well as the tour I realized some differences between BBC and US media/public media.
1. Once major difference is the size. The BBC is huge compared to any US media companies. For one it has BBC 1, 2, 3 and 4. No company in the US has 4 consecutive channels that are also the first 4 when you turn on your TV.
2. A second difference is how BBC funds their shows. This is vastly different than any public media company in the US, one for example is PBS. PBS makes their money through donations, grants and fundraising while in the UK there is a £150 a year tax which every household with a TV must pay. This provides them with a much greater amount of funding than PBS and other US companies.
3. Another difference I realized while reading about the BBC as well as spending time in London is seeing how much people really love the BBC. People pay a tax every year to fund the BBC and don’t fight it which shows how much they like the content they are given. In my opinion, this would not be something that would go over well in the US. I believe that people would complain about having to pay for it or they would all be making different demands if they are paying.
Overall the BBC trip was a great experience in which I not only learned a lot about the BBC and UK media but also learned more about US media at the same time.

Read more on BBC vs PBS: Who works better?…

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