Michael Hernandez

With nearly two decades of experience, Michael brings practical classroom knowledge to bear when developing innovative teaching and learning strategies, and helping others do the same in their schools.

His goal is to empower students and teachers to affect positive change in their classrooms, communities and the world. He believes that a collaborative, student-centered classroom is the best way to achieve these goals because it allows students to have voice in their learning.

He believes that we can use technology to amplify great teaching and prepare our students to be dynamic learners in a rapidly evolving world. Digital tools should help teachers and students work smarter, not harder.

Keynote: Media Literacy: From Fake News to Social Justice Tool

In light of the recent election in the U.S., the problems of fake news and media illiteracy have shaken our democracy to its core.  The existential threat to civil society is a real one, and one that I believe can be solved largely through media literacy in schools.  We must teach our students to be savvy consumers and authors of multimedia content so that they can make informed decisions about their lives and be productive members of society. Rather than ban, limit or fear new media, I will talk about how it can be embraced and used for productive goals rather than negative ones, and leave the audience inspired to integrate new media literacy into their curriculum.

My keynote will address the following topics, using examples and audience participation along the way:

  • What is media illiteracy and why is it a problem?
  • Examples of media illiteracy
  • Redefinition of “literacy” to include images, video and social media
  • Make connections to existing/traditional literacy concepts
  • Examples of student multimedia projects
  • The role of student voice and social justice through media literacy
  • Suggestions for integrating media literacy in the classroom including convincing reluctant administrators and colleagues

PRE CONFERENCE: Visual Literacy: Cinematic Storytelling with Mobile Devices for the Classroom

In this hands-on session, learn how to create video stories using your mobile or laptop device. The session will prepare you to integrate video storytelling into your classes and empower your students to tell compelling multimedia stories.  We will cover elements of story, differences between video and text-based storytelling, cinematography and sound basics, interview skills, how to edit using iMovie, distributing student work and more.  We will also discuss sample lessons and best practices for integrating video stories into all subject areas and grade levels.

Participants should come to the session with an iPad, iPhone, laptop with the latest version of iMovie installed or similar video editing software for other mobile OSs.


  • Why cinematic storytelling?
  • Differences between video and traditional texts
  • 5 minute film school
  • iMovie Tutorial
  • Hands-on project 1
  • Review projects
  • Interview skills
  • Hands-on project 2
  • Ethics, copyright, safety and digital citizenship
  • Sample Lessons and Best Practices
  • Assessment and grading

EXTENDED SESSION 1: Digital Storytelling for Literacy

The concept of literacy has expanded to include a variety of media beyond text: video, social media, websites, etc. In this session, we’ll discuss how you can integrate a variety of media into your curriculum and turn your students into authors of authentic publications.


  • What is digital storytelling?
  • Examples from different grade levels
  • How digital storytelling is different from traditional storytelling
  • Authoring tools (creating stories)
  • Publishing tools (sharing stories)
  • Social media and digital citizenship
  • Best Practices, Workflow and Sample Lessons
  • Q&A

EXTENDED SESSION 2: Multimedia Literacy

Fake news, propaganda and “alternative facts” have never been more of a threat to democracy than now. We owe it to our students to prepare them to navigate a complicated media landscape of video, social media and websites – in other words, to become media literate. This session will review the ways in which our students can read and interpret different forms of media, and give you the tools your students need to become literate in the media of now.
This session will connect to several of the learning outcomes in the IB Diploma Language syllabus, but will also be applicable English teachers of younger students