Member Spotlight: Michael Spikes

Michael Spikes is a Ph.D. Candidate of Learning Sciences at Northwestern University.

What do you do?

I am currently a graduate student in Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy, at the dissertation project stage studying news media literacy practices in formal and non-formal classroom settings. I am also an adjunct professor in the Communication department at Columbia College Chicago.

Tell us about your latest work or project in media literacy.

There are a few:

– With my colleague Yonty Friesem, we have established the Illinois Media Literacy Coalition, in which we are bringing together teachers, practitioners, administrators and scholars to discuss and develop strategies for the implementation of media literacy in Illinois High Schools after a requirement for media literacy education was signed into law this summer.

– I have been studying the techniques involved in the practice of news media literacy education within classrooms and in non-formal classroom spaces as part of my research at Northwestern. I have a paper currently under review.

– I have contributed to an edited volume on the future of media literacy with a chapter describing the development and design of a news media literacy focused online training course that was targeted toward academic librarians in the state of Ohio.

– I have also contributed a chapter to an upcoming practitioner focused publication from the American Library Association that focuses on engaging youth in media literacy topics in urban areas. The book is titled Power Lines, and is edited by Jimmeka Anderson and Kelly Czarnecki.

Why is media literacy important to you?

I think that media literacy is an essential, but undervalued skill in our current media saturated society. It’s important to understand the ways and means with which various types of media can influence, inform, and mislead us if we let it.

What are you most excited about in the media literacy field?

The opportunity to contribute to our understanding of what media literacy is and how it can be integrated into a framework for all learning and development.

Why did you become a NAMLE member, what benefits do you see to membership, and how will it support your work?

I think that in becoming an active member of NAMLE, it allows me to connect with a network of educators, practitioners and scholars who are invested in seeing media literacy education grow and continue to develop.

The views and opinions expressed in the M-Passioned Member blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of NAMLE or its members. The purpose of the M-Passioned Member blog is to highlight our members and give them a place to share their reflections, opinions, and ideas.