Workshop Presenters, Summer Institute in Digital Literacy 2015

We are so proud to feature these amazing presenters at the

2015 Summer Institute in Digital Literacy, July 26 - 31 in Providence, Rhode Island.

Diane Quaglia Beltran is a full-time learner, and part-time faculty member of the Writing & Rhetoric Department at the University of Rhode Island, where she received her MA in English: Writing & Rhetoric. She is interested in the rhetorics of public spheres, especially in multi-modal rhetorics and writing. Her affinity for digital rhetoric and literacy began in a graduate seminar on Media Studies where she, Yonty Friesem, and Ed Crane inventoried and analyzed what is arguably the first media literacy curriculum in the U.S.; the historical review of the curriculum, published in JMLE, can be read here. Her instructional experience with digital literacy includes courses on multi-modal writing in digital environments, and on writing cultures, where students are asked to critically assess, revise, and write original "texts" using rhetorical concepts of exigence, purpose, identification, audience, and writer. She is currently applying to PhD programs that merge rhetoric, writing, and media, and she seeks to continue her passion for multi-modal rhetorics and the public spheres.

Barack.jpgLauren Barack is a journalist and editor who has written about flea markets in Kiev, protests in New York, fishermen in St. Petersburg, and new media launches in London. Also trained as a filmmaker, Lauren has produced, edited, appeared on camera, and written for networks including VH1, Comedy Central, TNT and MTV. She's a contributing editor to School Library Journal, and her work has appeared in Newsweek, Wired, Parenting and other publications. A graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, with a Masters in Journalism from the University of California at Berkeley, Lauren won the Loeb Award in 2009 for her MSN Money series, "Middle Class Crunch," earned a Pace Foundation Fellowship in robotics, and an Associated Press Television and Radio Association scholarship while in graduate school.

Jilllian.jpgJillian Belanger is the Coordinator of English Language Learner Education at the RI Department of Education. As her Twitter bio will tell you, she also moonlights as a doctoral student at the University of Rhode Island’s English program with a specialization in Rhetoric and Composition, with research interests in the rhetorical power of humor, specifically around stand-up comedians as rhetors. Before coming to URI for her Ph.D., Jillian completed her M.A. in ESL and Cross Cultural Studies at Brown University and earned National Board certification in Adolescent ELA. She also taught high school English and then ELL in Providence for ten years and college writing at Roger Williams University for two. Having recently completed URI’s graduate certificate in digital literacy, she’d be happy to talk to you about it if you’re on the fence! (She will tell you that it was fun, rigorous, and totally worth it.) You can find her on Pinterestorganizing boards around humor researchdigital literacyELL, and dinner ideas, and you can find her out in the real world running and teaching cardio kickboxing!

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Leslie Brow is the Director of Student Services for the Narragansett School System. With 20+ years in special education she recently began her journey with digital literacy and integrating technology into the classroom and district. Her focus has been supporting staff and students by providing access to the curriculum for ALL learners. She continues to explore tools to expand her learning as an administrator, while supporting student and staff learning through accessibility.

Monica Bulger leads the Enamonica_bulger.JPGbling Connected Learning initiative at the Data & Society Research Institute. She is a fellow at theBerkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, a research associate at the Oxford Internet Institute, and a teaching fellow at the National Writing Project. Before joining Data & Society, Monica consulted for the London School of Economics & Political Science where she contributed policy research on issues of media literacy, internet safety, and children's rights for UNICEFEU Kids Online, and the European Commission. She holds a PhD in Education with an emphasis in cognitive science and social dimensions of technology. Her recent work focuses on issues of equality and children’s rights in digital and learning spaces.

Krystal.jpgKrystal Cagnon is a High School Special Education teacher in Narragansett RI. She has obtained a Bachelors of Science and Masters in Education with a focus on teaching students with Severe Intellectual Disabilities from Rhode Island College. She is currently attending the tier 2 track at the Summer Institute in Digital Literacy. Krystal began her teaching career at the middle school level and transferred to the high school to begin a Transition Life Skills program. Krystal teaches students with significant disabilities both within the school and in their community. She is passionate about helping students increase their independence and become meaningfully engaged community members post graduation. Most recently, Krystal was elected as the 2015 Teacher of the year for the Narragansett School System.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 10.31.52 PM.pngAmanda Murphy has been teaching at Westerly High School in Rhode Island for twelve years. Her experience has been divided between teaching in the social studies classroom and as the school’s senior project coordinator since 2009. Amanda was accepted to URI’s Summer Institute in 2014 as a Summer Scholar and returns this year as a Tier 2 participant. This year’s institute will also complete her coursework for URI’s Master Certificate in Digital Literacy, which she enrolled in during the summer of 2014. Her passion for purposeful implementation of technology has spread into her classroom along with implementing student authored websites as a component of the senior project, an opportunity for students to create, collaborate, and share their expertise about their senior passion projects. Although somewhat new to the world of digital literacy, she has become invested in helping the principles and ideals spread to colleagues, students, and parents. Amanda will be co-presenting with Kara Clayton their EDC 534 research project on  The Use of Smartphones in the High School Classroom. Follow Amanda @abmurphy22 or contact her via email at

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Stefania Carioli is primary school teacher, special education teacher, teacher trainer and PhD Student in Educational Sciences at Department of Education & Psychology, University of Florence. Her research interests include the digital reading and the youth literature (with refer both young adult literature and children's literature) with focus on the new textual forms and on the reading literacy that integrates the best of both literacies (printing and digital text). She is also studying the effectiveness of the Think-aloud strategy in online reading instruction and she has implemented an experimental pilot study in some classes at an Italian school.

Jill+Photo.pngDr. Jill Castek is a Research Assistant Professor at Portland State University with the Literacy, Language, and Technology Research Group. Jill is the principal investigator on an Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant focused on digital literacy acquisition among vulnerable adult learners, an IMLS National Leadership grant in collaboration with Multnomah County Library focused on assessing library patrons' Problem Solving in Technology Rich Environments, and an IES training grant focused on multidisciplinary research using PIAAC data. Prior to joining the faculty at Portland State, she was a post-doc with the Seeds of Science Roots of Reading team at the University of California, Berkeley where she explored the use of digital tools to encourage science and literacy learning. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut where she was a fellow in the New Literacies Research Lab.

Jill has been a facilitator for the New Literacies Teacher Leader Institutes that took place at North Carolina State University and inCambridge, MA. A former elementary/middle grade teacher and reading specialist, Jill has over a decade of experience working with striving readers and English Language Learners. Her research examines opportunities for reading, writing, and collaborating on the Internet to extend literacy and content learning. She also explores a variety of instructional strategies to support online reading comprehension. Jill is also a contributor to the Literacy Beat blog that focuses on literacy teaching ideas that make the most of Web 2.0 technologies. Her work also appears in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (JAAL), Educational Forum, The Journal of Education, The Reading Teacher, and Reading and Writing Quarterly, among other journals. In her free time, Jill loves to travel and spend time outdoors hiking and exploring. She can be reached @jillcastek and at

Michelle Ciulla Lipkin is the Executive Director of the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE). NAMLE's mission is to expand and improve the practice of media literacy education in the United States. NAMLE's Core Principles for Media Literacy Education are a source for educators and researchers thorughout the world. NAMLE organizes a bi-annual conference, publishes the Journal of Media Literacy Education (Co-edited by Renee Hobbs), compiles and provides resources to educators, and is launching the first ever U.S. Media Literacy Week from November 2 - 6, 2015. (Email for more information). NAMLE also partners with organizations and companies around the world. NAMLE is currently partnering with Participant Media and Henry Jenkin's Media, Activism, and Participatory Politics project to bring videos about credibility, agenda shifting, public vs. private, and remix to the classrooms. Michelle will be presenting on this project on Tuesday afternoon.

Besides her work at NAMLE, Michelle is also on the NY Advisory Committee for the News Literacy Project. Michelle's career started in children's media production at Nickelodeon. She attended graduate school at NYU where she explored the relationship between pre-school kids and television. For over a decade, she has been conducting workshops with parents about kids and media. Michelle also spent a few years teaching with The LAMP, teaching media literacy and production to K-5 students in NYC. Michelle is also an active community member in NYC. She is currently the President of the Parent Association for her son's middle school and co-chair of the benefit at her daughter's school. She has served on countless education, parent and community committees. Michelle lives in NYC with her family. Her husband, Jeremy is the Creative Director of the Howard Stern Channels at Sirius XM radio. Her son, Jude is 13 and her daughter, Simone is 10 1/2. She enjoys yoga, reading, and napping. Usually in that order. She is so excited to join the institute this year for many reasons, one of them being it's the longest time she's had to herself since having her son 13 years ago! She can be reached at

Heather and me (1).jpgKara Clayton has taught media studies courses for more than 20 years at Thurston High School in the South Redford School District just outside of Detroit, Michigan. She holds a Bachelors in Communication from The University of Michigan, and a Masters in Reading from Eastern Michigan University. She recently completed the Digital Literacy Certificate Program at The University of Rhode Island Harrington School of Communication. Kara is the recipient of the Courageous Persuaders Courageous Leader Award, the National Council of Teachers of EnglishLiteracy Award, and the Michigan Youth Arts Touchstone Award . Her students have also won awards for their video production work. Check out Kara's YouTube channel if you have a chance to see some of the work her students have produced. Kara also served as a board member for the National Association of Media Literacy. She will be a presenting Tips and Tools session on building a Website Using Wikispaces, and will be co-presenting a Promising Practice Session with Amanda Murphy on the findings from their EDC 534 Research Project on the Use of Smartphones in the High School Classroom. Kara can be reached @thtvvideo and at

reza headshot_crop.jpgReza Clifton is a writer, digital storyteller and cultural navigator recognized in RI as a pioneering blogger, podcaster and social media user. She has been awarded for multimedia projects that appeared on her first blog,; for programs she's produced as podcasts and for WRIU, a radio station and broadcast service of URI, her alma mater; and for leadership as a community organizer and contributor to the music and art scene in Providence, RI, where she calls home. She has also contributed to audio and video stories aired on NPR, WGBH, and RI Public Radio – in Washington, DC; Boston, MA; and Providence, RI, respectively.

Reza is also a poet who, after three decades of writing, is working on her first published collection of poetry and prose – a series covering topics ranging from radical love to social justice. To jump-start the process, in 2013 she launched and traveled throughout the east coast distributing “3 AM is the New Black,” a new zine and series of online spaces devoted to showcasing art, essays, and poems (original work and contributions). Reza currently teaches and lectures on topics including "Digital Media and Audio Storytelling," “How to Share Your Artistic Self Online,” and “Writing for Work, Writing for Self, Writing for Survival.” She is also sharing a photography exhibit and multimedia installation called "Music Moves" that explores and celebrates the different effects and benefits delivered through music. You can hear Reza weekly on Brown Student and Community Radio where she plays music, airs interviews and shares tidbits about her art and initiatives on her show, "Sonic Watermelons." You can also follow her on her blogs, and, or on social media, @3amblack and @rezaclif

Charlie.JPGCharlie Coiro is a leadership instructor, facilitator and consultant with the U.S. Coast Guard. He has 30 years of service as an Active Duty and Civilian member of the Coast Guard. During his 23 years in the leadership development arena, he has instructed thousands of students in programs ranging from one to fifty week durations. Charlie has developed more than 100 courses, workshops, and publications related to: collaboration, leadership theory, facilitation, consulting, communications, conflict management, change management and self-awareness. In 1998 he helped establish the Coast Guard’s Leadership Development Center where he currently works. In addition to his work in the Coast Guard, he has also consulted with numerous businesses and non-profit organizations. Charlie has a B.S. in Political Science from the United States Coast Guard Academy and an M.S. in Quality Systems Management from the National Graduate School.

Coiro 2011A.jpgDr. Julie Coiro is Associate Professor of Reading in the School of Education at the University of Rhode Island. She also works collaboratively with Renee Hobbs in URI's Media Education Lab. Julie was one of the original creators of the New Literacies Summer Teacher Leader Institute in 2009. She speaks nationally about her research in reading comprehension strategy instruction, the new literacies of the Internet, online reading comprehension, and effective practices for technology integration and professional development. Before coming to URI, Julie worked as Co-Director of The New Literacies Research Labat the University of Connecticut. Julie has a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education with a focus on students with learning disabilities; a Masters’ degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of New Orleans with a focus on reading; and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology in the area of Cognition and Instruction from the University of Connecticut. She is a former middle school and elementary school teacher and has provided professional development to teachers around the country for the past 20 years.

From 2009-2014, Julie worked as a Co-Principal Investigator with three colleagues on a five-year federally funded research project called Online Research and Reading Comprehension Assessment (ORCA) Project to develop a series of assessments to measure online reading comprehension proficiency in ways that inform classroom instruction. Prior to that, from 2003-2006, she worked in school classrooms as part of the Teaching Internet Comprehension to Adolescents (TICA) Project, a federal research grant funded by the U. S. Department of Education. Julie has published articles and book chapters in venues such as Reading Research Quarterly, The Reading Teacher, Educational Leadership, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Theoretical Processes and Models of Reading (5th edition) and The International Handbook of Literacy and Technology (2nd edition). She is also co-editor of the Handbook of Research on New Literacies (Erlbaum, 2008) and co-author of the 4th edition of the book Teaching with the Internet K-12: New Literacies for New Times (2004). You can access some of Julie’s work at

1375173_757074491015898_6257966191954060001_n.jpgFor the last eleven years Jeannine Cook has worked as a facilitator, teaching artist, and media arts director in Philadelphia. Her undergraduate degree in Media + Communication at the University of the Arts was focused on social justice. The program, led by Barry Dornfeld, taught communication theory and practice, as well as solution-focused digital journalism, photography, and graphic design. After years of working in the field as a facilitator with adjudicated and at-risk youth, Jeannine completed the Masters program at the University of the Arts with a degree in Art + Design Education under the leadership of Slavko Milekic. UARTs' program prepared her to integrate media and mindfulness into trainings for groups standing up for social, economic, and environmental justice. In addition to running media programs, she has an extensive professional development portfolio, hosting trainings in collaboration with the School District of Philadelphia, the Knight Foundation, Communities in Schools, PhillyCAM, Philadelphia Youth Media Collaborative and the Philadelphia Art Education Partnership on media and mindfulness education. This past year, Jeannine published, "Street Smarts: Using Media Arts and Art Education to Reengage Out of School Youth." She also worked closely with West Chester University's Youth Empowerment and Urban Studies program to design and implement a media-focused capstone course in inner city Philadelphia. Jeannine is currently working with graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania and youth from West Philadelphia to create a campus/community placemaking project, Mixplace Studio, sponsored by the Slought Foundation.

photo.JPGKaren Festa is a special education teacher at Narragansett Elementary School and has experience working with all children birth through grade 5. This past year she was a digi-catalyst teacher under the fabulous partnership with URI and Dr. Renee Hobbs, co-presented at RIASCD beginner teacher conference in April expanding access under CCSS for students with disabilities using digital literacy, presented in various school districts aligning IEP's to CCSS, participated in the RIDE teacher resource summit which looked at designing and evaluating lesson plans under the Equip Rubrics as well as cultivating and creating online resources to be shared across the state of RI, and currently participates in a RIDE focus group working to develop and statewide present professional development strategies, tools, and resources to teach all students under CCSS in the fall of 2015. Here are some links to Karen's screencast lesson plan samples and resources: Grade 2 Digital Literacy Lesson Screencast Grade 3 CCSS MLK Lesson Teacher Talk Dedication to an Amazing Class
Twitter: Teach4SpclNeeds

1434424390.pngElizaveta Friesem holds a PhD in Media and Communication from Temple University and a degree of Candidate of Sciences (equivalent to PhD) from St. Petersburg State University, Russia. She conducts research combining principles of media literacy education, feminist theory and gender studies in order to promote gender equality and diversity. Her work combines theory and practice, and aims to help educators make media and gender classes more effective. She also explores the impact of the media on public understanding of sensitive issues connected with sexuality (rape, child sexual abuse, street harassment, revenge porn, etc.).
Elizaveta enjoys writing for her blog, and CultNoise online magazine.
You can contact Elizaveta at 
TWITTER: @lisafriesem

Jonathan.jpgYonty Friesem is a PhD student in the joint doctoral program in education at the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College. For the last fifteen years, Jonathan worked with numbers of media youth organizations, Universities and Colleges in Israel. As a graduate from the Camera Obscura Art School in Tel-Aviv, he became a reporter for the local news and a producer in the national network. His global feature production 'Yeladim Tovim" helped him to structure a powerful and effective program for youth media production in the educational system in Israel. Building two communication and cinema departments in high schools as well as teaching various populations of youth across the country, Yonty became an advocate for the youth media movement in Israel. After receiving a policy and management in education, he continued to advocate for research on the impact of media production experiences of adolescent social and emotional development all around the world. Starting January 2012 Yonty became the manager of the Media Education Lab at the Harrington School of Communication and Media. Currently he is developing a media literacy curriculum for foster youth and special education population. His research asses the process of cognitive and emotional growth in a video production class using, face to face, computer mediated communication, and video production. By using different dimension of empathy, Yonty aims to better understand the outcomes of a digital media literacy program taught in schools.

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Jessica Geremia was a teacher for 8 years before leaving the classroom to help Chariho move towards their digital transition. Jessica serves as a District Technology Academic Fellow for the Chariho Regional School District where she coordinates the Chariho 1:1 Program (supplying all faculty and 8-12 students with laptops). In addition to the laptop program, Chariho is working to expand high quality blended learning districtwide. Jessica is thrilled to welcome René Rosivach as her co-fellow this year. Together they will work with all stakeholders to coordinate logistics and professional development for districtwide technology programs. Jessica also serves as a Fuse Fellow where she works with teachers and administrators throughout Rhode Island to spread blended learning best practices (Fuse Fellows feature on the US DOE Page). Jessica is devoted to cultivating curiosity and critical thinking in students, colleagues, and her own young daughters. After an inspiring experience last year, Jessica is invigorated to return to SIDL this year to experience Tier 2! 
Reach out to Jessica on twitter @JessGere

Picture.jpgLaura Gogia is the graduate fellow at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Academic Learning Transformation (ALT) Lab in Richmond, Virginia, where she designs and researches Connected Learning in online, higher education contexts. Her most recent collaboration is VCU's successful, open, connected course on designing community engaged research, known best as#CuriousCoLab. Laura has also developed instructional and informational materials for the integration of blogging and tweeting in the higher education learning environment. She is the founder of Twitter Journal Club, a highly experimental, monthly, synchronous, live-tweeting reading club which focuses on open, digital, and connected scholarship, and she helped found an online open access journal for prison educators. Laura has published on alternative approaches to scholarship and has participated in numeroushangouts on digital presence and scholarship. Her dissertation research involves creating and evaluating alternative assessment strategies for blogging and microblogging in university-based connected courses with a special focus on social network and discourse analytics. Other research interests include building bridges between the Connected Learning, Networked Learning, and open education research communities.

Angela.jpgAngela Henderson is a Professor of Reading at Fullerton College in California. She has her M.A. in English and her M.S. in Reading from CSU Fullerton. In December 2013, Angela received her certificate in Online Teaching from the University of California, Irvine. She teaches courses in developmental reading, reading skills for college learning and a critical thinking course at Fullerton College. She also teaches an online course in the Post-Secondary Reading and Learning Certificate program at CSU Fullerton. She has been teaching online for the past decade. She has presented about blogging at several conferences and on her campus for staff development.

IMG_0167.jpgCarol Herrmann has been working as a junior high school librarian since 2006, when she received her MLIS from URI. Prior to that, she earned a PhD in Comparative Literature from Brown University and taught at the college level. After attending last year’s Summer Institute in Digital Literacy, Carol was tapped to provide professional development to the librarians in her district to help them transition to a learning commons model. As part of the district’s library PLC, she also helped rewrite the library curriculum to include a greater focus on digital and media literacy. She’s excited to participate in the Tier 2 program this year.

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Dr. Renee Hobbs is Professor of Communication Studies at the Harrington School of Communication and Media at the University of Rhode Island. Professor Hobbs is an internationally-recognized authority on media literacy education. Through community and global service and as a researcher, teacher, advocate and media professional, Hobbs has worked to advance the quality of digital and media literacy education in the United States and around the world. Renee Hobbs maintains an active research agenda that examines the intersections of the fields of media studies and education. She has published four books, written over 150 scholarly and professional articles, created award-winning videos and educational multimedia, and offered professional development programs to educators on four continents. She founded the Media Education Lab, whose mission is to improve the quality of media literacy education through research and community service. With her colleagues at the Media Education Lab, Hobbs developed Powerful Voices for Kids, a university-school partnership that offers a comprehensive program for K-12 schools including a summer enrichment program for children, staff development program, hands-on mentoring and curriculum development, and parent and community outreach. In the early 1990s, she created the first national teacher education program in media literacy, the Harvard Institute on Media Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. You can access her publications and the many curriculum materials she has created here.

Kristin H.jpgKristin Hokanson spent 20 years in public education as an elementary teacher and HS Technology Integration Specialist. As part of the Discovery Education’s professional development team, she has worked with students and teachers K-12 across the country helping them to leverage web-based tools and emerging technologies to increase rigor and student engagement. Her specialty is best practices in technology integration, especially in the areas of constructivist teaching practices in science, project based learning, and media literacy. Kristin helps teachers to develop a greater understanding of media literacy and digital responsibility with regards to Copyright and Fair Use. One of the things Kristin is most passionate about is helping teachers find ways to harness 21st Century tools to create more independent, thoughtful, creative learners. She serves on the board of __Pennsylvania Association for Educational Communication and Technology__ and is a chapter coauthor in__What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media__. She is presently serving as the Regional Conference Chair for the 2015 ISTE Conference in Philadelphia.
Connect with me

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Kim Keith is a library media specialist at the M. E. Small Elementary School in the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District. She has been working is school libraries for 22 years. Her undergraduate degree is from Westfield State University and her MLIS is from the University of Rhode Island. She is passionate about social media and collaborating with the teaching staff in her building to enhance student learning. She is looking forward to participating in Tier 2 this summer. You can find her on Twitter at @capecodlibrary.

Profile.PNGDarnell Kemp is a Professor of Reading at Fullerton College in Southern California. At the college she is part of the Transfer Achievement Program, the Entering Scholars Program, and the Basic Skills Committee. In addition to teaching at the community college level for the last five years, she taught high school English for thirteen years. She teaches online, face to face, and in the hybrid format. She received her M.A. in Education with an emphasis in secondary reading from California State University Long Beach and a Virtual Teacher Certificate from the University of California, Irvine. Darnell was a member of the South Basin Writing Project working on writing workshops for both students and fellow faculty. She also worked with the California Writing Project on the development and classroom evaluation of a student improvement rubric. She presents campus technology each semester to new faculty and adjunct faculty. She also presents to those faculty interested in specific topics such as flipping the classroom, communicating with students their way, Remind, and Socrative.

April at GStar Movie Premier.jpgDr. April Marie Leach

Dianna_Locke picture.jpgDianna Locke is a Media and Educational Technology Instructor with the Fulton County School District in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to coming to Atlanta, Ms. Locke was a Media Specialist in the Ann Arbor Public Schools, Michigan. Dianna brings over twenty years of experience as a media specialist and librarian and holds an MLIS from Wayne State University. She is passionate about Project Based Learning, Libraries and Digital Literacy. She is currently enrolled in the Digital Literacy Certificate Program at The University of Rhode Island Harrington School of Communication. Dianna will be presenting an Amazing Text session on the importance of using primary sources from the National Archives and how easy it can be using DocsTeach App. Dianna can be reached at

Leah.jpegLeah Lubman is a Tier 2 alum of URI's Digital Literacy Institute. Since October 2015 she has been working as the Branch Manager forWashington Park Library; part of Providence Community Library (PCL). There she has worked to support digital literacy programming foryouth and adults. In addition to her role as branch manager she also worked as the lead grant writer for StoryCorps @ Your Library, a grant which pitted Providence Public Library against over 300 libraries throughout the country. All applicants were reviewed and selected byStoryCorps and The American Library Association.. Following a swift up-hill battle PCL library was selected along with 9 other libraries, including Ferguson, MO. Soon after the announcement in March Leah began training with StoryCorps. Since then she has worked collaboratively with StoryCorps and PCL on supporting the system-wide implementation of this project; working to collect and archive the voices of our community at PCL, StoryCorps, and with the Library of Congress.

Prior to making the leap to public libraries, Leah worked as a Middle & High School Media Specialist at Paul Cuffee School after graduating from Simmons College in Boston. A lover of all things Library, she's worked to build a now four year old high school library at Paul Cuffee while planting; watering, and growing programming at both schools. Leah also spoke, last year, at URI's Humor Symposium; discussing race and minority issues with students through media literacy. When not librarying (yes, it's a verb) Leah also serves as a board member for the RI LGBTQ Center; a fledgling organization focused on providing community space and resources to the LGBTQ community. For more information contact Leah at and for additional entertainment follow her onTwitter.

SLM_GOOGLE.jpgSandra Markus is a Professor in the School of Art and Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology/ SUNY, in New York City. She co-teaches the first experimental, interdisciplinary course offered at FIT, Digital Literacy for Designers offered to all students in the School of Art and Design. In 2011, she developed and initiated the Digital Spa, an annual technology summer camp for faculty in the school of Art and Design. The spa supports a collaborative learning environment where faculty learn about emerging technologies, and how to integrate these new practices into their pedagogy. She is currently working towards completing her doctoral degree at Teachers College, Columbia University in the department of Communication, Media, and Learning Technologies Design. She completed her Ed.M. in 2012 in Instructional Technology and Media. Her area of research is gender, higher education and faculty development. You can reach me @ and see my work Twitter handle: @slmarkusnyc

Self Port..JPGEd McDonough is a Digital Video Educator at Canton High, in Canton Massachusetts. He seeks to help others create videos worth watching. McDonough also serves on the District Technology PLC and as Cable Access Coordinator. His students collaborate with Canton Community Television managing an educational access cable Student Station. Nationally Ed is a past executive board member of the Student Television Network. He currently serves the Scholastic Media Associationregionally as an Educational Liaison. McDonough’s students have earned recognition from a wide variety of organizations including the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Many of his students have gone onto careers in the industry including CBS’s “The Good Wife”, ESPN and Disney. Perhaps the biggest benefactors of his teaching have been students who have no intention of pursuing a career in the field. Instead they have found their voice via digital storytelling. Ed McDonough can be found on Twitter @Digucator. He is an advocate of Cell Phone Cinematography & Student Personal Branding.

Diana M (1).jpgDiana McMasters is a Technology Teacher for the Interdistrict School for Arts and Communication, a charter middle school in New London, CT. Though not yet 1:1, ISAAC is a technology-rich school where computers, iPads, electronic whiteboards, probeware, document projectors, and digital cameras are integrated into all subject areas throughout the day. As an Expeditionary Learning School, technology is richly integrated into academically rigorous learning Expeditions - - where learning is connected to real-world issues through projects, field work, and case studies that inspire students to think and learn at a high level, and produce professional-quality artifacts. Prior to ISAAC, Diana worked as a Technology Integration Specialist for LEARN, a Regional Education Service Center in Connecticut. She has worked teaching teachers and students in the field of Education Technology for 22 years. I can be reached

Moen.JPGMary Moen is a Library Media Specialist at Chariho Regional High School in Rhode Island. She is a also the Unified Arts Department Chairperson and is involved in curriculum development, assessment validation, and education technology integration. As her school moves to a 1:1 device program, Mary is excited to facilitate the successful implementation of the program. She recently presented some of her work teaching with digital resources at the Digital Engagement Workshop sponsored by the Media Education Lab at the University of Rhode Island, the Learning First Alliance/RI Conference, and the Rhode Island Library Association Annual Conference.

Mary has B.A. in Art History from Brown University, an M.L.I.S. from the University of Rhode Island and is currently a doctoral student in the URI/RIC PhD in Educationprogram. In her spare time she is a research assistant on a team at the URI Harrington School of Communication and Media that is examining the relationship between media literacy skills and adolescents’ civic engagement for a national journalism project. Her research interests include digital literacy theories, technology integration in teaching and learning, and online personalized professional learning practices.

profile pic.jpgKathleen Ralf teaches Humanities & English at Frankfurt International School in Oberursel, Germany. She is also an instructor for the Global Online Academy and will be teaching a course on Genocide and Human Rights this fall. As a teacher she works to create a classroom that is active, hands on, and full of creativity. She has been an active leader in technology integration on her 1:1 campus as well as an advocate of the Blended Learning model. Kathleen recently presented at theEuropean League of Middle Level Education (ELMLE) Conference in Warsaw, Poland where she discussed the benefits of using memorials to connect students with local history.

Kathleen has a BA in History from the University of Washington and an MS in Educational Technology from Walden University. She enjoys traveling around Europe with her family and experiencing out of the way spots as a local. She often reflects on her expat life and international teaching experiences in her blog Lehrer Werkstatt. Kathleen will be leading a Practicing Pedagogy's discussion called Digital Witnesses to History. How can we connect our students digitally to people who experienced historical events that we are studying in class?

Dave Q.jpgDave Quinn is a doctoral student in URI/RIC Ph.D. in Education program. His research interests include Connected Learning, personal and collaborative inquiry, and Design Thinking Previously, he was a history teacher at King Philip Middle School in Norfolk, MA and a member of the SeekonkSchool Committee. He can be reached at or @EduQuinn on Twitter

Eprofile picture - עותק.jpgvanna Ratner teaches communication and Media studies at the Gordon College of Education, Haifa,Israel. She is also the coordinator of Media Studies in the ministry of education in Israel, and deals with reconstructing media content. As a teacher she works to create a classroom that is active, hands on, and full of creativity. She refers to the aesthetic and semiotic elements of an image or text, and deals with issues of power and ideology within media messages. She specializes in multicultural topics and the importance of multiple points of view and different narratives in order for a functioning democracy to work. Her Current Research Project as part of her doctoral program in The Faculty of Education at the University of Haifa is “ Co – Existence in Dialogue through cinema: The effect of bi-national visual media production on mutual understanding of ” the other” – The Ph.D. Dissertation was handed last Nov. 2014.

Evanna has a BA in Political science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and MA in Communication and Educational Management from the Haifa University. Her Past Research Projects: Senior Graduation Ceremonies as a Means of Social Control – dissertation for Masters of Arts was held in in the Education Faculty in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Evanna lives in Ein Hod , an Artist Village, in Israel , and there too creates an ongoing dialogue with the arab village nearby. Finally, her field of media literacy meets the needs of storytelling with a new language of computer-literate and web-surfing students and responds to the powerful changes that have occurred in our global media environment and our belligerent middle east area her work will be presented in the conference, and so will short films done with Israelis and Palestinians: Ratner can be reached at :

Howard Rheingold

101_2273 - Version 2.jpgMichael RobbGrieco is the Director of Curriculum and Technology Integration for the Windham Southwest school district in Vermont. Mike recently completed his doctorate in Media & Communication at Temple University with a dissertation on the history of media literacy. He is an affiliated faculty member of the Media Education Lab at the University of Rhode Island, an associate editor of the Journal of Media Literacy Education, and the founder of the //Media Lunacy for Media Literacy// blog (hence the silly picture).

Mike grew up in Baltimore, MD, has spent lots of time making music and movies, and taught high school English and ESOL in New Hampshire and Philadelphia before pursuing his Ph.D. He and his wife Sarah moved to Vermont to be closer to family in 2011 and have been having a blast with their daughter Regina since she joined them in 2013. Mike is excited to return to K-12 education in support of teachers' professional development and their use of digital communication technology to enhance student learning in and out of the classroom. He looks forward to the challenge of identifying and meeting the specific needs of teachers and learners in rural Vermont through sharing innovative approaches to digital and media literacy education. At the institute, he is hoping to connect with a few gurus and/or partners in digital & media literacy flavored ed tech leadership in K-12 schools. Mike thinks writing about himself in the third person is hilarious, but he's going to change voice here for this last bit.

On Tuesday at in Room 233, I will be doing an "Amazing Texts" session (twice! -- at 1:20, and again at 2:10) in which I will share resources from the //Media Lunacy for Media Literacy// blog for "using silly media for savvy media use." We will use the Vialogues and Genius annotation apps to engage in a guided analysis of the music video and lyrics of "Happy Birthday to My Loose Acquaintance" by the folk parody duo Garfunkel & Oates. Join us to experience two great tools for collaborative learning around digital texts (for grade 6 through adult learners), and get hooked on the funny smart stuff at ML4ML to feed your own creativity as a media educator.

digi14frank.jpgFrank Romanelli is the coordinator of the Early Credit High School Program for Writing and Rhetoric at University of Rhode Island. He has developed and directed programs in early enrollment and dual enrollment in RI and MA. He also facilitates faculty development workshops in project based learning, technology and learning, and digital literacy. Frank teaches live, blended, and online classes in Writing, Communication Studies, and Education.

Frank has served as the coordinator and Digital Pedagogy Specialist for the Writing and Rhetoric Production Lab and as coordinator of UnClassroom, a project based learning initiative for the Harrington School of Communication and Media. He holds a M.A. in Education and English from University of Rhode Island with post graduate work in Educational Leadership from Rhode Island College. 

On Thursday, Frank will be leading a tips and tools session in the use of Etherpad to make connections and create a learning community in live, blended and online classes.
A New Literacy: Making Connections in Electronic Environments

Rene Head Shot.jpg
René Rosivach is an ELL specialist for the Chariho Regional School District. She is also a member of the South County ELL Consortium where she has been the iPad Integration Specialist providing resources, PD, and instruction to other ELL Consortium teachers in ways to integrate iPads into instruction with ELL students. In 2012 she presented at the Rhode Island Teachers of English Language Learners (RITELL) Conference. The area of focus for this conference was in Technology Enhanced ELL Instruction. 

René’s passion for working with ELL students and for researching ways to enhance their educational experience by integrating technology into student learning has led her to a new position as a District Technology Fellow beginning in August. In her new role she will work in conjunction with Jessica Geremia in a collaborative model to support Chariho’ s Laptop distribution program and to expand high quality blended learning opportunities for staff and students. 

René will be co-presenting Apps, Avatars and Accessibility for English Learners
with Jillian Belanger. Follow René on Twitter @ReneRosivach

Sahana Sarkar is currently pursuing her Phd in Communication. Her doctoral thesis is on Cyber violence against women in India: Exploring the role of Digital Literacy.
She holds a Masters degree in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India and a Masters in Media Governance from Jamia Millia Islamia, India. Her research interests are Online Privacy, Cyber Harassment and Digital Literacy. She has previously worked with Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore where she conducted research on Privacy India. She did an experimental study on spammers and wrote about consumer privacy in India for Centre for Internet and Society. She also worked with Praxis conducting capacity building exercises and conducted a month long participatory video workshop with sex workers in Maharashtra, India.
She can be reached at

Cheryl.jpgCheryl Space has been the Youth Services Coordinator at the Providence Community Library since August 2014. She is responsible for the implementation of the National Leadership Grant, Ready for Kindergarten!,Providence Community Library received in 2013 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This project, designed for families with 3 1/2 - 5 year old children who are not enrolled in a formal preschool program, is a partnership among Providence Community Library, RI Family Literacy Initiative, Ready to Learn Providence, and the Providence School Department. In the Spring of 2015, Providence Community Library received funding from the RI Department of Transportation to offer film making classes for teens at the Washington Park and Mt. Pleasant Libraries. In partnership with VSA Arts RI and the URI Media Education Lab, teens created public service announcements promoting seat belt adaptation.

Prior to coming to Providence Community Library, Cheryl was the Youth Services Coordinator at the Office of Library and Information Services (2009-2014) and the Coordinator of Children's Programs at the Providence Public Library (1996-2009). In July 2014, Cheryl was elected the Diversity/Inclusion Committee Chair for the national Collaborative Summer Library Program. Cheryl was pleased to work with Leah Lubman to write the grant that brought the StoryCorps program to Providence Community Library, lending support around partnerships and youth programming.

-if56VkC.jpegDiane Watt will be attending Tier 2 of URI's Digital Literacy Institute. She is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Werklund School of Educationat the University of Calgary. Diane is a Teacher Educator who teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Literacies, Schooling and Society, Curriculum Design and Evaluation, Diversity, Second Language Teaching and Learning, and Cultural Studies. [See her websiteand follow her on Twitter and Facebook]. Diane is interested in the DIY new literacy practices that youth are involved with outside of school, especially video production. Her current research is a collaborative visual ethnography which engages the media making experiences and sense of identity of three Somali-Canadian Muslim female YouTubers. In addition to traditional print texts, they are co-producing and sharing their research as short videos and a documentary. What does it mean to conduct research in the digital age? It is important not only to investigate literacy practices taking place in digital spaces, but also draw upon the affordances of digital technologies to conduct and disseminate that research. To find out more go to the project website Muslim Female YouTubers Speak Back and follow on TwitterVimeo YouTube Join me Wednesday afternoon for a discussion on using visual methods to research youth new literacy practices outside of school.

IMG_3580 (2).jpgKate Maloney Williams is a media ecologist and works as Proposal Coordinator at Child Trends, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center that improves the lives and prospects of children and youth by conducting high-quality research and sharing the resulting knowledge with practitioners and policymakers. Prior to joining Child Trends, Kate served as a grants officer for British Red Cross Refugee Services, where she worked to safeguard vulnerable children and adults in the asylum-seeking process. Kate's research interests include Digital Literacy and International Education Policy; she holds a Master of Science in Media, Communication & Development from The London School of Economics, where her graduate dissertation conducted cognitive interviewing and discourse analysis in Sri Lanka on how regional classroom environments impact the ways in which Sinhalese teenagers take up social media and other information and communication technologies for international development -- following time spent as a teacher at an iNGO-run telecentre in the Western Province. She also has served as a policy research assistant to the LSE Media Policy Project and holds a dual B.A. in English Studies and Communications and Media Studies from Fordham University, where she worked with at-risk youth as a teaching assistant with elementary and middle schools along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. She sits as a permanent chair on both the Child Trends’ Safety Committee, as well as the Institutional Review Board, and coordinates staff training on conducting research on human subjects in order to ensure a safe and ethical research environment. She is also a member of Wikimedia DC and Women Who Code.''

wcyangprofile.jpgWilliam Yang has been an educator for over fifteen years as a classroom teacher, technology teacher, staff developer, and administrator in New York City Public Schools, Scarsdale Public Schools, and Chappaqua Central School District in New York. He received his M.A. in Elementary education from Teachers College-Columbia University, studied Educational Administration and Supervision at New York University, and completed his M.Ed in Advanced Literacy at the Bank Street Graduate School of Education. William Yang is a contributing writer for the Technology in Literacy Education (TILE-SIG) blog on International Literacy Association’s “Reading Today Online” and has presented his work on literacy and technology at several national conferences. He served as an adjunct instructor at the Bank Street Graduate School of Education and Fordham University's Graduate School of Education. He can be reached by email at or follow him on Twitter at @wcyang.

Yoon.jpgJiwon Yoon (Ph.D., Temple University) is an Assistant Professor at Roosevelt University in Chicago. She has been focusing on research in media literacy for global understanding, intercultural communication, popular culture in North and South Korea, and Pan-Asian identity. Her works have been published in scholarly journals and as book chapters. She has taught media literacy in the U.S., South Korea, and China in various educational settings, such as public/private schools, alternative educational settings, universities, and teacher education programs. Jiwon also has received research awards from BEA (Broadcast Education Association) and ICA (International Communication Association). Her doctoral dissertation, “Media Literacy Education to Promote Cultural Competence and Adaptation among Diverse Students: A Case Study of North Korean Refugees in South Korea,” examines how media literacy education can enhance immigrants’/refugees’ better understanding of and an adaptation to their host society.

While she was at Temple University as a Ph.D. student, she was a graduate student member in the Media Education Lab and participated in various projects, such as, but not limited to: (developed the content and format of online multimedia curriculum for girls); Media Literacy as a Means to Promote Cultural Understanding project (worked as a consultant in a project to promote better understanding of Muslim culture through media literacy); and Digital Nation (as part of a team, developed a structured online learning experience for educators and parents using video and multimedia resources created for the television documentary entitled Digital Nation). Yoon also has worked with South Korean media literacy scholars and educators to develop educational resources that implement media literacy education for multicultural education. Currently at Roosevelt University, one of her classes is Media Literacy, in which university students first learn about children’s media experiences and various media literacy education practices. Then, Roosevelt students teach media literacy to children in one of the Chicago Public Schools. She is also working as the liaison with faculty across the university, facilitating their use of service learning pedagogies and helping to further institutionalize service-learning across the university.