New Agendas for Media Literacy Conference Scheduled for June 6-7 at The University of Texas at Austin

June 2, 2008

AUSTIN, Texas — Media education scholars from across the U.S. will come together with experts in gaming, simulations, Second Life, journalism and education to explore the potential of new media for learning at the "New Agendas for Media Literacy" conference June 6 and 7 on The University of Texas at Austin campus.

Some of the topics to be addressed during the conference include:

  • Literacy in Action: Media Literacy in Community Based Settings
  • Beyond the Classroom: Games, Simulation and Virtual Environments
  • New Media Literacy in the Formal Classroom
  • Preparing Teachers for Digital Learning Environment

James Paul Gee, the Mary Lou Fulton presidential professor of literacy studies at Arizona State University, will deliver the keynote address: "Digital Media and the Future of Learning (If There is a Future)." Gee is a pioneer theorist who established early links between literacy and media. His groundbreaking book "Sociolinguistics and Literacies" was instrumental in the formation of new literacy studies. Gee has published widely in journals in linguistics, psychology, the social sciences and education. His most recent book is "Good Video Games and Good Learning: Collected Essays" (2007).

"Young people increasingly depend on digital media for their social, educational and personal needs," said Kathleen Tyner, assistant professor of media studies in the Department of Radio-TV-Film at The University of Texas at Austin. "The New Agendas for Media Literacy conference is an opportunity to convene the next generation of media education scholars to explore how critical literacy practices can best respond to the proliferation of new media in society."

The conference will convene scholars from a dozen universities in the areas of media education, educational gaming, youth media production and literacy learning for a conversation about the resources and design of social spaces for new media literacy and learning. Scholars scheduled to present include:

  • Sanjay Asthana, Middle Tennessee State University
  • David Bruce, Kent State University
  • Alison Butler, New York University and New York Public Schools
  • Belinha De Abreu, Drexel University
  • Aaron Delwiche, Trinity University, San Antonio
  • Jennifer Fleming, California State University, Long Beach
  • Leslie Jarmon, Office of Graduate Studies, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Korina Jocson, Stanford University School of Education
  • Paul Resta, College of Education The University of Texas at Austin
  • J. Lynn McBrien, University of South Florida
  • Alice J. Robison, Arizona State University and the Game School, New York City
  • Jeff Share, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Kathleen Tyner, The University of Texas at Austin

"These scholars are asking the questions: 'What sorts of educational resources are needed to support and leverage this rapid influx of intellectual and communication media?' and 'How are media professionals, educational theorists and literacy scholars helping youth understand the possibilities inherent in such an era?,'" Tyner said.

Rodney Gibbs, executive studio director of Amaze Entertainment and chairman of the Digital Media Council of Austin, will introduce the Saturday afternoon session "Beyond the Classroom: Games, Simulation and Virtual Environments." His presentation is titled "The Intersection of Digital Media and Learning."

Open to the public, "New Agendas for Literacy" takes place in the Lady Bird Johnson room in the College of Communication. This is the fourth in a series of 10 academic conferences featuring up-and-coming scholars studying important issues in communication. Each of the 10 conferences will culminate in a volume of research edited by College of Communication faculty members and published by Lawrence Erlbaum/Taylor & Francis Publishers.

Future topics to be covered in the series include: language and learning, international communication, ethnicity and media, media convergence and media emotions. Find more information about this conference, speaker bios and a detailed itinerary online.

For more information, contact: Erin Geisler, KUT Radio, Moody College of Communication, (512) 475-8071;  Kathleen Tyner, Department of Radio Television Film, Moody College of Communication, 512-415-7080.