I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how teenagers think. Living 
with a 13 year old and a 16 year old can do that to a person. I am absolutely fascinated with how they think, how they learn, who they follow,  why they like certain music,  what makes them laugh, etc. One of my favorite things to hear my kids say is "Mom, you have to watch this." They know how much I like to analyze media content and they are so gracious to play along! Recently, my son showed me the trailer for the upcoming movie Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck it Ralph 2. Have you seen this? It's pretty mind-blowing to unpack. There are so many layers! Animated characters navigating "inside" the Internet with other Disney characters? In just these 2 1/2 minutes we have issues of search engines, gender roles, and commericalism galore. Where do I even begin??? 

Then, my daughter shows me this video (Warning: explicit language!) from one of the YouTubers she follows, Gabbie Hanna. Gabbie has 6.2 million followers. Watch how she explores what it means to be a popular YouTuber and earn a living trying to get people to pay attention to her. "When's my work day end and where does me begin?" This video has over 3 million views. As I was writing this, my daughter shared another video of other YouTubers reacting to Gabbie's video called YouTubers React to Struggles of Being a YouTuber. I find it all incredibly fascinating to see my kids react and respond to all this content. What a time to be alive!!!

As we slowly get back in the swing of the school year in all parts of the U.S., I find myself at the start of an exciting adventure. I am leaving today for a two week media literacy trip in Australia. I'll be in Brisbane, Sydney, Perth, Canberra and Melbourne from August 19 - August 31 visiting schools, meeting with teachers, and talking with government officials and media makers. Read the press release here. I am looking forward to sharing our media literacy efforts in the U.S. and to learning much from Australian educators. If you are interested in following my trip, follow me on Twitter ( @ciullalipkin). I'll be using  #USwithAUS. 

When I return, we will kick off the fall with  our next  Media Literacy and Civic Engagement in the Digital Age  regional event which will take place on Friday, September 28, 2018 at Texas A&M. Registration is now open
We have an incredible group of partners joining us as speakers and participants. Check out this impressive group! 

We continue to move ahead with plans for  the  4th Annual U.S. Media Literacy Week  which is scheduled for November 5-9, 2018. Our regional chairs and resource development team are working hard on outreach and content for the week. You can find a great one pager created by Lena Tran, Midwest Regional Chair, on how partners get involved here. We are working on another great event at Reuters  in NYC, a virtual event for all MLW partners, some exciting screening opportunities, and  much, much, more. You'll start hearing about MLW regularly come September.  If you are interested in helping out with the efforts and/or signing up for partnership, email NAMLE's Program Associate,  Nirvana Guzman , at nguzman@namle.net. 

I also wanted to let you know about a few updates on the NAMLE website. We realized that some of you might want to go back to check out resources and opportunities we have mentioned in past newsletters. You can now find our past newsletters here. We have also updated our Election and Civics Resources page as we know many of you will be discussing the upcoming midterm elections in class this fall. And, finally, we created this very simple media literacy one pager that we thought might come in handy. 

Whether you have started school or are getting ready, I hope these final weeks of August are wonderful. 

G'day, mate!
Michelle Ciulla Lipkin's signature   Michelle Ciulla Lipkin
Executive Director  mciullalipkin@namle.net @ciullalipkin @medialiteracyed