Home » Illinois Teachers to Begin Media Literacy Classes for High School Students

Illinois Teachers to Begin Media Literacy Classes for High School Students

Media Literacy
Image Courtesy of Gary Todd (Flickr CCO)

It looks like students might need more notebooks as the Illinois Public Act 102-0055 requires all public high school students to take a media literacy class starting in the 2022-2023 school year.

Micheal Spikes and Yonty Friesem, co-founders of the Illinois Media Literacy Coalition, developed the framework to ensure Illinois teachers teach a class including a media literacy unit for subjects and topics in school. Spikes and Friesem say that we live in a time where media is mainstream, so it is beneficial that students are taught media literacy skills.

“One of the things we encounter these days is that we need to become much more active consumers of media because we are not only just looking at things, were also participating in conversations on platforms like social media,” said Spikes. The co-founder is an adjunct professor at Columbia College Chicago, an Illinois Media Literacy Now chapter leader, and a Ph.D. candidate at Northwestern University.

The other co-founder, Yonty Friesem, also had something to say about the future of their project. “Knowing how to be media literate is also to know how to communicate, how to behave, and how to be socially responsible in today’s environment.” Friesem is an associate professor and graduate program director of Civic Media and Strategic Communications at Columbia College Chicago.

Media Literacy
Image Courtesy of Brad Flickinger (Flickr CCO)

The coalition will host challenges for high school students in the state to win scholarship money and cash rewards during Media Literacy Week, October 25 through October 30.

Students can participate by creating a TikTok video showing how media is used in their everyday lives while also reflecting on one of the five media literacy practices.

Those who come out on top could win rewards such as $ 2,600 in scholarship money from Columbia College Chicago. In addition, contestants could also win $50-250 dollars in cash awards given by the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University.

The deadline to submit a video will be Friday, October 29th. More details and maybe even examples can be found on ILMLC.org.

Written by Daylontie Jasper
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware


KFVS12: Illinois high school students will learn media literacy skills next school year; by Isabelle Hanson

Feature Image Courtesy of Gary Todd’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Brad Flickinger’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License