December 2019: M-Passioned Member Chelsea Attwell

What do you do?
I am a Director with The Association for Media Literacy, a subject association to that supports Media Education. I currently work as Hybrid Teacher Digital Lead Learner with the Toronto Toronto District School Board in Ontario, Canada. In the Toronto District School Board, I teach Kindergarten at Jean Lumb PS and I also support K-12 educators in my district to leverage technology to support student learning. I have worked with children and youth for over 20 years. I have taught Media Literacy for Kindergarten through Grade 5 and instructed grades 1-4. I am a life-long learner who enjoys working collaboratively with my colleagues to plan innovative learning opportunities for my students and colleagues.

Chelsea Attwell

Tell me about your latest work or project in media literacy.
My work is really guided by the work I do with the students and colleagues. My current area of focus includes supporting K-12 educators in our district with pedagogical documentation leveraging district tools available in the Toronto DSB. The Toronto DSB’s Global Competencies also remains a strong focus for me. Creatively embedding the Global Competencies into the curriculum provides multiple opportunities to support Media LIteracy education. For example, I am fortunate to be working at Toronto DSB’s newest school community. Jean Lumb PS is located in the heart of Toronto. As a new school we are currently building community with our students, families and communities. This inquiry aligns with work I have already done on using community as inquiry which can help educators consider how media can help educators to better understand the communities in which children live and learn in and a curriculum which reflects students lived-experiences. Embedding the key concepts into an inquiry-based Ontario Kindergarten Program and Global Competencies allows for multiple entry points. For more information have a look at bit.ly/educattwell for the full presentation presented at NAMLE’s pre-conference “Media LIteracy Starts Young”.  I have recently participated in two three podcasts through VoicED Radio including Mediacy and OnEdMentors.  

Why is media literacy important to you?
Media literacy provides people with an opportunity to think critically about the world around them. Media literacy is used everyday (whether or not we know it)! Media literacy engages, excites and helps people to understand the world around them. Media literacy has enriched my professional life in allowing me to bring innovate teaching opportunities to students, educators, families and communities. Plus it’s fun! 

What are you most excited about in the media literacy field?
Production has always been my favourite part of media literacy, especially production with students in the early years and primary level. Today production is so easy with numerous apps, hardware and software available to students to create stunning and meaningful projects that reflect their story and identity. 

Why did you become a NAMLE member, what benefits do you see to membership, and how will it support your work?
In my work with the Association for Media Literacy, I was fortunate to attend and present NAMLE 2019. This provided me with an opportunity to connect with other like-minded individuals and expand my media literacy professional learning network. Being a NAMLE member allows me to stay updated on national and international media literacy research and events. 

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