SHU Graduate Students Discuss the Media Literacy Movement with Leading Experts

On Friday, September 25, at the School of Communication (SCMA) and Media Arts at Sacred Heart University, two leading experts discussed the history and impact of media literacy in the digital age. Fifteen students and faculty members from SCMA attended a workshop and networking luncheon led by Rob Williams and Julie Frechette, co-presidents of the Action Coalition for Media Education (ACME). From 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dr. Williams, alongside special guest Ben Boyington, vice-president of ACME, presented on the history of the media literacy movement. The networking luncheon followed until 1:30 p.m., when students and faculty joined Dr. Frechette for a presentation on what media literacy means in the digital age.

“The session at the School of Communication and Media Arts at Sacred Heart University generated innovative and thoughtful insights and reflections into 21st century media literacy concerns, strategies, and goals, especially in light of vast changes in the digital age dominated by networked technology,” says Dr. Frechette. “Our hope is that ventures like these will yield strong pedagogical efforts that value self and social empowerment over technical skills, along with new media literacy initiatives for teaching across subjects and age groups in local to global communities.”

The new Master’s of Arts in Media Literacy and Digital Culture at Sacred Heart University aims to develop students’ critical understanding and analytical skills of mediated stories and images, with concentrations in Children, Health, and Media (CHM) and Media and Social Justice (MSJ).

“Media literacy is absolutely essential in the 21st century,” says Dr. Bill Yousman, director of the Media Literacy and Digital Culture graduate program at Sacred Heart University. “The media play a crucial role in our world, requiring educators and citizens who are knowledgeable and skilled at understanding, analyzing, and creating media so that we might better engage with the ‘always connected’ environment we live in.”

For more information on the Media Literacy and Digital Culture graduate program, e-mail Dr. Bill Yousman at or visit the program’s website.

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