Media and information literacy are essential competencies that can be activated and developed through a variety of innovative forms of learning and teaching. This report describes a year-long professional development program developed and implemented by Mark Day School faculty during the 2013 – 2014 academic year in collaboration with the Media Education Lab at the Harrington School of Communication and Media, University of Rhode Island. The goal of the initiative was designed to build coherence, quality, effectiveness and vision around media and information literacy integration at Mark Day School across subjects and grade levels. The process was informed by faculty development work previously described in Hobbs and Moore’s Discovering Media Literacy but it also included elements unique to the context of Mark Day School. The professional development program included a 6-stage process that activated faculty as learners in a dynamic inquiry process.
Key elements of the professional development program included: (1) reflecting on faculty motivations and values in using digital media and technology; (2) expanding the concept of literacy and identifying learning targets; (3) considering the value of both formal and informal media and information literacy (MIL) learning; (4) conducting teaching-partner interviews as a paradigm for collaborative professional development; (5) using MIL tagging to support a professional development learning community; (6) sharing with the whole school community. Using a seminar-style approach to professional development, faculty worked collaboratively to develop shared knowledge and understanding of how children develop MIL competencies within the current context of curriculum and instruction at Mark Day School. This process also enabled the faculty to imagine potential future directions for the program.