Welcome students (and parents)! You have reached the digital classroom of Bernie Heidkamp, an English teacher at Oak Park and River Forest High School. Follow the class links for course-specific information, class blogs, and other fun stuff.

The focus of my teaching is to explore ways to empower students (and everyone else, for that matter) to interpret and participate in their world. To do so, students need to excel at media literacy and digital literacy — and I’m equally passionate about both.

In our increasingly mediated lives, where we are absorbing images and information at an unprecedented rate, we need to be able to see the ideology — the dominant or subversive values — behind what we watch, hear, read and play. We need to understand how all culture, whether it be considered “high” or “low,” “popular” or “literary,” can both reflect and influence the world. And we need to learn how to be active cultural critics and builders of our own worlds.

Thanks for joining me on this journey. I’m looking forward to our adventures!