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June 2012 Archives

June 8, 2012

From Early Global Education to Strong Global Leaders

Joanne Ashe

Joanne Ashe is Founder and Executive Director of Journeys in Film.

JIFlogo150.jpgRecently, George Mason University President Ángel Cabrera wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review titled "What Being Global Really Means." This excellent article addresses the critical role understanding other cultures plays in the success of global businesses. Cabrera states that true global leaders connect, create, and contribute and seek to find solutions that offer multi-directional value.

Yet how can we make sure students today get the opportunities and resources to grow globally? Journeys in Film. Educators use JIF's collection of narrative, foreign-language films as springboards for interdisciplinary lesson plans in subjects including math, science, language arts and social studies as well as topics such as environmental sustainability, hunger, global health and media literacy. The films selected feature age-appropriate characters for 6-to-9th grade students and the stories transport them into meaningful narratives from around the world. Journeys in Film is a powerful tool to help educators prepare today's students to become tomorrow's informed, media-literate and globally competent citizens.

Education is the key. We can't wait for children to become adults before they're taught about the richness and complexity of other cultures. The global lessons need to begin right now, at home and in the classroom. Let's get our kids ready to connect, create and contribute to a better world.

June 18, 2012

Media In Our Image

Johanna Blakley

kate125.jpgI was delighted when the editors of Women's Studies Quarterly asked me to submit a piece to them about social media and gender. They had seen my TEDWomen talk on the same topic and suspected (correctly) that I'd be interested in pursuing those themes in print. They made another request as well: might I think of a way to add a visual component and a social media campaign of some sort?

Now that's the kind of thing that takes a village. Thankfully, I have one! I immediately turned to the Lear Center's terrific in-house designer, Veronica Jauriqui (who designed the visuals for two of my TED talks) and my trusty intern (and social media expert) Sarah Ledesma. Through Sarah we met the tremendously talented photographer Jasmine Lord, who immediately understood what we wanted (you can read about all of them here). I'm incredibly proud of the results, which you can check out on Pinterest and Tumblr.

Now for a little backstory:

My TEDWomen talk was about the ramifications of the fact that women dominate social media platforms all around the world. I argued that this will lead to a fundamental shift in the content we see in traditional mass media, and that all demographic groups - not just women--will benefit from new audience metrics that will emerge from networked media platforms. While old media companies used to make do with demographic segmentation of audiences, new media allows anyone looking for an audience to target them in a much more nuanced way, accounting for their actual interests rather than stereotypical notions of what (for instance) an 18-24 year-old white male might like.

I believe that this is a revolutionary moment in the history of mass media: whether we realize it or not, we look to mediated images for reflections of ourselves and most of us have been disappointed by the distorted mirror held before us, encouraging women (for instance) to be stick thin and sexually accommodating, and encouraging men to be physically powerful and sexually insatiable.

Continue reading "Media In Our Image" »

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