Digital Literacy Conference

Naperville, IL · September 12 | Online · September 13

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Explore digital literacy

and discover how to foster tomorrow’s digital citizens


On average, young adults today spend nearly 10 hours a day consuming media, including at school and in their free time. Within that timeframe, they can be exposed to thousands of media messages – some of which require extra effort to analyze and contextualize.

Do these young adults fully understand what they are seeing on a daily basis? Can they distinguish between real or altered content? Now more than ever, digital literacy — the ability to use information and communication technology to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information — is a critical skill that needs attention if students are going to thrive in the classroom and beyond.

Join education stakeholders from around Illinois for a two-day conference centered on digital literacy, with presenters offering their views on how to best integrate these cognitive and technical skills into instruction across subject areas and grade levels. With this knowledge, educators will be better able to guide their students toward becoming productive, ethical, and empathetic digital citizens – both as consumers and as creators.

September 12 & 13, 2024

In-Person (NIU Naperville) & Online

K-12 teachers (all grades and content areas), administrators, technology coaches, and library media specialists

Full Conference | $90 ($100 after June 1)
In-Person Only (9/12) | $65 ($75 after June 1)
Virtual Only (9/13) | $30 ($40 after June 1)

PD Hours

Please contact Brian Bates at with questions.

Today’s Students

Tomorrow’s Digital Creators & Consumers

To succeed in the classroom and in their future career, today’s students need a robust set of skills for analyzing and interpreting digital information – news stories, videos, data, and more.

At DigLitCon, you’ll discover innovative strategies and resources for harnessing technology to hone those essential skills. Whether you’re new to the field or eager to dig deeper, this is a must-attend event for every educator passionate about supporting the next generation of digital citizens.

Conference Agenda

Full conference schedule (including sessions) will be released May 2024

September 12 ( Naperville)

7:30am-8:15am Registration & Breakfast

8:15am-8:20am Welcome & Opening Remarks

8:30am-10:00am Workshops

10:10am-11:40am Workshops

11:45pm-12:45pm Lunch

12:50pm-2:20pm Workshops

2:20pm-3:50pm Workshops

3:50pm-4:00pm Wrap-Up & Closing Remarks

September 13 (Online)

8:00am – 8:30am Conference Platform Opens

8:40am – 8:45am Welcome & Opening Remarks

8:45am-9:45am Opening Keynote

10:00am-10:50am Breakout Sessions

11:00am-11:50am Breakout Sessions

11:50am-12:20pm Lunch

12:30am-1:20pm Breakout Sessions

1:30pm-2:20pm Breakout Sessions

2:20pm-2:30pm Wrap Up & Closing Remarks

2024 Keynote

Dr. Devorah Heitner

Author, “Growing Up in Public: Coming of Age in a Digital World” and “Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World”

Dr. Devorah Heitner is the author of several books focused on providing timely, non-judgmental advice about technology and parenting in the digital age.

In addition to her published works, her pragmatic perspectives have led national conversations on mentoring kids in an always-connected world and appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Heitner holds a Ph.D. in Media/Technology & Society from Northwestern University and has taught at both Northwestern and DePaul University. Her passion for digital literacy is more than academic as she raises her own teenager with her family in Chicagoland.

During her keynote, Dr. Heitner will explore how teachers and parents can mentor children growing up on Roblox, Instagram, TikTok, and other online platforms. With a focus on teens and tweens, she’ll also highlight practical strategies for fostering digital regulation, thoughtfulness about digital reputations, and awareness for how social media affects young peoples’ moods and mental health.

Conference Schedule

Opening (8:30-9:50)

Welcome and Opening Remarks (8:30-8:45)

Tim McIlvain – Executive Director, LTC


Opening Keynote (8:50-9:50)

Dr. Kristen Mattson, Edvolve
Block 1 (10:00-10:50)

Media Literacy: Helping Students Make Sense of their Digital World

Eric Santos


“I’ll Google it,” K-2 Style!

Amy Graham


Know Your (Copy)Rights : What Educators Can and Can’t Use

Emily Pool


Internet 101: Stuff You Pretend to Know but Are Afraid to Ask

Nicole Zumpano


Critical Consumers Become Creative Curators in the ELA Classroom

Nicole Stroup
Block 2 (10:55-11:45)

Not as Boring as it Sounds: Copyright Made Easy

Renee Bogacz


Social Media and Social Emotional Wellness

Sarah Phelps


Verify B4U Amplify – How2INFORM: Combating Misinformation Online

Vesna Markovic and Kimberly Skubic


Using Online Tools to Foster Communication with Families

Shauna Oakwood


Elevate Student Agency Through Video

Beth Rihtar
Lunch (11:45-12:15)
Block 3 (12:15-1:05)

Sketchnoting for Visual Literacy – You Don’t Need to be an Artist!

Jen Leban


Just Click Record! Podcasts for Students or Professional Learning

Matt Jacobson


Applied Digital Skills: Using Project-Based Lessons to Promote Digital and Life Skills

Cassidy Kuhlmann


Effective Methods for Finding and Curating OER Materials

Steve Baule


Media Literacy with Cross-Curricular Resources

Luci Cambria
Block 4 (1:10-2:00)

Digital Storytelling in the Primary Classroom

Melinda Kolk


Create Sticky Online Learning for Your Students

Matt Jacobson


Responsible Decision Making: Become Cyber-Secure and Safe Online Today!

Holly Kelly and Eric Mukensturm


We the Consumers: Media Literacy’s Role in Effective Digital Consumerism

Sarah Michelle Clark


Student Voice and Student Choice: Building Solid Student Presentation Skills

Tyler Smith

Session Strands

The term “digital literacy” encapsulates a series of big ideas centered around helping students become productive, successful digital citizens and consumers. The following strands are big-picture topics with subtopics listed beneath them.

Information & News Literacy

Presentations in this strand will address search skills, finding reliable sources, checking for credibility, and recognizing fake news.

Visual Literacy

Presentations in this strand will focus on understanding algorithms, analyzing images, sketch-noting, and using visual content (including GIFs and memes) to enhance engagement.

Digital Communication

Presentations in this strand will consider the impact of digital communication by discussing different means of communication (i.e. texts, GIFs, emails, etc.), social media, online communities, personal learning networks, rights as citizens and consumers, and social norms.

Digital Tattoos

This strand will consider the impact of your digital tattoo, mapping online spaces, performing data digs, and managing your online persona.

Ethical Use of Digital Resources

This strand will address ethical issues such as copyright, referencing digital resources, making and remixing digital content, and Creative Commons licenses.


This strand will share existing resources related to digital literacy including Open Educational Resources.

Digital Citizenship

This strand will share resources and discuss cyberbullying, digital wellness, screentime, civic action and responsibilities, and existing digital citizenship resources.

Media Literacy

Presentations in this strand with share strategies in media literacy topics such as persuasion tactics, big data, media literacy basic concepts, and branding and advertising (along with how to deconstruct media messages).

Computer Literacy

Presentations in this strand will focus on understanding general computer language and how systems work. It will include sessions on privacy and security, how to protect yourself online, understanding data collection techniques and practical skills to avoid fraud, phishing, spam, etc.