As the founder and Executive Director of Look Sharp, I’m so delighted to see this powerful shift in the way we present our work and our organization to the world. This transformation of our website owes its finished state to the hard work of current and previous Look Sharp staff members – especially Kelsey Greene and Sherrie Szeto. Their vision and expertise have given us a solid footing as we move into our third decade working in the field of media literacy.
For those of you visiting us for the first time, Project Look Sharp is a non-profit program of the School of Humanities & Sciences at Ithaca College, with the goals of supporting the integration of media literacy and critical thinking into the K-12 and college curriculum.
Our specialties involve inquiry-based learning and constructivist media decoding (CMD) – both honed and developed by our longtime Director of Curriculum and Staff Development (and award-winning teacher), Chris Sperry. The power of CMD pedagogy is demonstrated in a series of annotated videos featuring Chris or myself leading students through a media decoding.
The CMD approach is also the foundation of our huge archive of free curriculum materials and lessons which are designed to teach content in social studies, ELA, science, health, and many other subject areas through the lens of media literacy. Most of our lessons have been created by our wonderful Curriculum Writer, Sox Sperry – and since all of our lessons and related materials are grant-funded, we are able to provide them totally free for educators. You can easily search for resources to find lessons that fit your curriculum.
Project Look Sharps also offers professional development for teachers, librarians, teacher education programs, school districts, and other organizations. We have worked with thousands of K-12 and college educators, both in the U.S. and abroad. We also have extensive experience working with BOCES in New York State, where we frequently provide PD for librarians who are interested in integrating media literacy into their own work with students and in their support of classroom teachers.
We also participate actively in media literacy education at Ithaca College – through teaching courses (e.g., PSYC 11000 Media Literacy and the Psychology of Inquiry), assisting in the new interdisciplinary media literacy minor, and giving presentations to freshman seminars and at other campus events. Last week, for example, I gave a presentation with Prof. Derek Adams for Ithaca College’s MLK Week focusing on youth activism and protest through the lens of media literacy. We are also delighted to be supporting Ithaca College’s increased focus on climate justice, sharing our new and existing lessons on climate change and sustainability.
As a founding organizational member of the National Association for Media Literacy Education, we actively participate in national media literacy and educational conferences and contribute social media posts about today’s issues in education – especially those related specifically to media literacy. We also occasionally host “charettes” with educators to advise us on new approaches or thorny issues related to our media literacy work, and we are delighted to collaborate with educators on the creation of new curriculum materials.
Each week, I’ll post another blog about a current issue, hot topic, or new materials that we’ve just posted on our website. In the meantime, please explore what we have to offer – and let us know what you think!