2007 NAMLE Conference Highlights, St. Louis

2007 NAMLE Conference Logo

It was four days of non-stop media literacy when over 300 media literacy practitioners and researchers from throughout the world gathered in St. Louis for AMLA’s 2007 National Media Education Conference and Research Summit.

Over lunch and in the Media Hub, in hands-on workshops and networking breakfasts, through informative panels and break-out sessions, the conference theme created multiple opportunities to explore how innovations in media technology are not only changing our 21st century global culture but also challenging educators at all levels and across the curriculum.

Whether you were in St. Louis or not, use this page as a “guided tour” of the rich resources that resulted from the conference – keynote addresses, summary reports, news coverage, blogs – and much more.

St. Louis Media Hub

Resource rich and more media mindful-that’s how I came away from AMLA’s 2007 NMEC gathering in St. Louis. In every keynote and session, presenters recommended more books, articles, websites and people that could provide further information, or I walked away with classroom-ready materials in hand to share with colleagues. I couldn’t have designed a better professional experience for myself.

– Valorie Stokes, Library-Media Specialist, Platte City, Missouri

While the workshops were inspiring and jam-packed with information I can use in my own teaching, it was the international flavor of the conference that was most personally enriching. How exciting to learn about media literacy efforts in Israel from an Israeli table companion, and to discuss media literacy with conference attendees from Japan and Singapore!
– Anne Bader, Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri

The electronic world and its messages may be singly the most important aspect of education we can embrace in the 21st century. The keynote speakers and conference sessions were cutting edge. Teaching media literacy is one of the best ways to build tomorrow’s critical thinkers.
– Lynne Lang, Curriculum Specialist, BJC Healthcare, St. Louis, Missouri
The keynote speakers at NMEC consistently provided power boosts of inspiration. I got the sense I was being made privy to not only the “best and the brightest” in the field, but also the “newest and deepest.” Henry Jenkins, Renee Hobbs, Douglas Rushkoff and Robin Blake-these are people who work out on the cutting edge and in their keynotes they brought the rest of us along for the ride. They held out torches that made you want to follow where they’re leading.
– Peter Gutierrez, Founder, Find it in Film

  • NMEC 2007 Keynote Speakers

Renee Hobbs

Renee Hobbs, Ph.D. is a highly acclaimed pioneer in the field of media literacy and a co-founder of the Alliance for a Media Literate America (AMLA). She has produced media literacy videos, such as “Tuning in to Media” which was awarded a Parent’s Choice Award in 1995, and “Know TV,” which won the 1995 Golden Cable ACE Award for public service initiatives in the cable industry. She has also authored several books, including Elements of Language, the only secondary language arts series in the United States to include a comprehensive approach to integrating media literacy, and her latest book, Reading the Media in High School: Media Literacy in High School English . Hobbs is an Associate Professor of Communication at Temple University and the director of the university’s Media Education Lab.

Keynote Address: Media Literacy Education – What the Research Says
Over the past ten years, there have been more than 150 dissertations written about media literacy education from emerging scholars in education, communication, public health, sociology, the fine and performing arts, and other fields. Hobbs critically examined key themes from the Research Summit to outline the emerging knowledge base about the theory and practice of media literacy in and out of schools. She identifies some new “great debates” that are germinating from this body of scholarship and reflects on the practical and political implications of this work for teachers, youth development practitioners, media professionals, educational leaders, and advocates for media literacy.

Henry Jenkins

Henry Jenkins is the DeFlorz Professor of Humanities and Director of Comparative Media Studies at MIT. He is one of the founders and directors of The Education Arcade and the principle investigator for the MIT-Microsoft Games-to-Teach project, which is examining the educational potential of computer and video games. Jenkins writes two monthly columns, “The Digital Renaissance,” for Technology Review Online and “Applied Game Theory” for Computer Games magazine. Jenkins has published six books and more than 50 essays on popular culture. His books include Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture (coauthor), From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games (coeditor) and The Children’s Cultural Reader (editor).

Keynote Address: On Pedagogy and Participation – Designing Materials to Support New Media Literacy
In a white paper recently released by the MacArthur Foundation, researchers from MIT’s Project NML (New Media Literacies) identified a framework of core social skills and cultural competencies that young people need to acquire if they are going to participate meaningfully in the new media landscape. How do those skills relate to what we have traditionally understood to be media literacy and how might we put them to use in the classroom? Dr. Jenkins’ presentation described two pedagogical projects: Labrynth, a learning game designed to teach math and literacy skills to middle schoolers, and the Exemplar Library, a project to produce documentaries that focus on the choices that shape media production.

Robin Blake

Robin Blake is manager of the Media Literacy Team at the Office of Communications (Ofcom), the independent regulator for the United Kingdom’s communications industries. Blake is an internationally known expert on media literacy research and strategies. He has spearheaded Ofcom’s prioritization of media literacy research, which has resulted in a massive study of uses of and attitudes toward media in the UK. Blake has served as the programs manager for Britain’s Independent Television Commission, and he is coauthor of Media Literacy for Adults – Why it Matters.

Keynote Address: Famous for 15 Minutes or for 15 People? The UK’s Networked Generation and Why Media Literacy Matters
Ofcom, the broadcasting and telecommunications regulator in the UK, was formed in 2003. As part of its remit, it was given a statutory duty to promote media literacy. Ofcom has since become a catalyst and thought leader for the subject, which has led to media literacy being raised high on both industry and government agendas across Europe. Ofcom completed the first ever national audit of media literacy to guide its strategy and priorities. The research provides the evidence to encourage all stakeholders to address the media literacy needs of learners, both old and young. Mr. Blake discussed what the audit tells us about the UK’s media habits, how the digital revolution has changed the lives of young Brits, and how can this research can inform activity in and out of school.

Douglas Rushkoff

Douglas Rushkoff is an author, teacher, and documentarian. He wrote and hosted two award-winning Frontline documentaries, The Merchants of Cool, which looked at the influence of corporations on youth culture, and The Persuaders, which examine the tactics of marketers and their impact on society. He was the winner of the first Neil Postman award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity, and he has written 10 best-selling books, including Cyber Media, Playing the Future, and Coercion, winner of the 2002 Marshall Mcluhan Award for best media book. Rushkoff founded the Narrative Lab at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, and he lectures at conferences and universities worldwide about media, art, society and change.

Keynote Address: New Media, New Literacies – Why Johnny Can’t Program
The advent of computing has enabled a cultural shift on the order of the invention of the written alphabet or the development of the printing press. Still, the possibilities for this new renaissance – like that of earlier ones – can only be realized if we accept the real implications of writing the laws that define our very reality.


  • Read the insightful editorial written by the president of the MacArthur Foundation in the St. Louis Dispatch two days before the conference.
  • Read about the conference in the blog kept by Len Mason, web developer for Youth and Family Ministries with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
  • Our proclamation presented to the AMLA by the city of St. Louis and the state of Missouri:
    AMLA Board President Lynda Bergsma (right) and Board Member Jessica Brown are joined by Missouri State Senator Michael Gibbons as they display proclamations of Media Literacy Week from the city of St. Louis and the state of Missouri.

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