Today we sat down with Claire Garand, Education Program Manager with Media Power Youth to discuss an upcoming educational series being offered to educators and others that work with youth from across New Hampshire. 

Media Power Youth’s mission is to inspire young people to engage with media in thoughtful and constructive ways that support their physical and mental well-being.  They partner with schools and communities to invest in youth and sustain them in their journey to find balance in their technology use, such that it enriches rather than compromises their success in school and in life.

Claire explained that the Media and Education Professional Development series will be a three-part series with the first training being called Learning Through Media: Effective Strategies for Using Media in the ClassroomThe training came about as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and the switch many had to make to virtual programming.  According to Claire “educators needed a lot of new skills in order to meet the need of virtual and hybrid learning”. While many educators utilize media in the classroom, Media Power Youth wants to support educators in expanding that learning opportunity for youth. 

Many educators now utilize photography, artwork, videos, interviews, podcasts, and various types of media more than ever.  Claire says “I think now people are getting more used to the remote landscape and also using different media tools in the classroom”.  As a result, Media Power Youth wants to focus on the future of using these kinds of resources to engage students and put them in a framework so they can understand the context. The training will touch on a broad range of media and show educators techniques to help youth critically analyze a piece of media regardless of what it is or where it came from.  The great part about teaching this particular set of skills is that they are always relevant no matter what medium.  The training will address specific media types that are relevant today but the skillset which was relevant in the past will still be relevant in the future when the next media platform comes about. 

This professional development workshop will cover how to best choose media examples, how to present them with context to students, and how media can be used to grow students’ perspectives and introduce them to new ideas and experiences.  Future workshops will cover topics such as News Literacy and the culture of TikTok.  The training is appropriate not just for educators but other school professionals such as counselors and media specialists as well as those that work in youth-serving organizations. 

Looking forward, Media Power Youth is excited to not only offer this type of training to educators but to incorporate their voices into Media Power Youth’s overall work. They will be launching an Educator Advisory Board in the coming months. Educators working with grades 3-8  of all backgrounds and interest in this topic in this topic are welcome to join.  They may get in touch with Claire if they are interested (contact information below). 

Register online for the training here. This professional development session is free for K-12 educators and will be hosted via Zoom on March 22nd from 10 am-12 pm. Email Claire Garand at claire.garand@mediapoweryouth.org with any questions.