Making Meaning out of Media

Subject: Digital Literacy
Grade Level: N/A
Source: Cable in the Classroom

People are inspired when invited to contribute their own insights and opinions to our common understandings.  My goal is always empowerment, not dogma."

 Sister Elizabeth Thoman, CHM has been a pioneer in American media literacy education for almost 30 years.  In 1977, she founded  Media &Values magazine, foreseeing the tremendous impact that media and new technologies – computers, cable television, global satellites – would have on American society, especially in the world of education. 

Over the years, her work has inspired and influenced thousands of students to become active, critical thinkers in the realm of media.  In addition, thousands of educators, librarians, religious workers, youth workers, and parents have been introduced to media literacy education.  She has provided key advice and guidance in the development of several of Cable in the Classroom's most popular media literacy resources.

In 1989, the magazine evolved into the Center for Media Literacy (CML) to encourage new ways of thinking about television and media and to develop innovative teaching resources for exploring the impact of media and technology in daily life.  Thoman continues to be a driving force at CML, currently serving as the executive editor and director of programs.

Thoman is also one of four founders of the Partnership for Media Education (PME), formed in 1997 to promote professional development in the field through organizing and hosting the National Media Education Conference.  PME has since become a national membership organization, the Alliance for a Media Literate America (AMLA), where Thoman provides leadership as a board member and corporate officer.

For her most recent project, Thoman has co-written and edited the CML MediaLit KitTM: A Framework for Learning and Teaching in a Media Age, a guide to help districts and schools to learn how to implement media literacy education, theories, and practices across K-12 curriculum.

She has been a member of the Sisters of the Humility of Mary / Iowa for 41 years.

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