Julie Smith lives and breathes media literacy education. In her classrooms. In her speeches and presentations. In her daily life. In fact, her teenagers have frequently asked “Mom, can’t we just watch this show without you asking us questions?”
Julie caught the media literacy bug while earning her degree from University of Tulsa and Master’s in Mass Communication from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. Her thesis, entitled “The Media Literacy Movement: Its History and Its Future in the United States” put her in the path of Art Silverblatt of Webster University, and was fortunate enough to help him revise the fourth edition of his outstanding textbook “Media Literacy: Keys to Interpreting Media Messages” in 2015.
Julie began teaching media literacy courses at Webster University and SIUe in 1997. Since then, she’s been a loud and vocal advocate for media literacy education in every classroom, at every age. Julie has also been fortunate enough to present on the importance of media literacy education at conferences around the country as well as Europe. She is an enthusiastic presenter and a compelling cheerleader for the media literacy movement, and will talk about media literacy to anyone willing to listen. And (undoubtedly, sometimes) even those unwilling.
Her current research interests include the use of social media within the college classroom, the editing/doctoring of news photos, and how false information travels so quickly on social media channels.
Julie is extremely proud of her book, “Master the Media: How Teaching Media Literacy Can Save our Plugged-In World”, which she wrote in 2015 after realizing that many teachers and parents were still not familiar with the concept. The book is an easy read, making media literacy accessible to everyone outside the world of academia. It also includes QR codes which lead the reader to loads of online resources.
She has been active in the Gateway Media Literacy Partners group in St. Louis, and is thrilled to now be involved with NAMLE.
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