- Second-grade students at Stratham Memorial School in Exeter, NH, are improving their critical thinking skills by filming themselves discussing characters and concepts from reading material.
- The practice of talking these things out in a video format is intended to help students improve their writing, in addition to offering more social learning opportunities when they view each others' selfie videos to further their understanding and discussion, District Administration reports.
- One app being used for these sorts of activities, Seesaw, allows students to upload the videos for viewing by their peers, teachers and parents, according to District Administration — and Robin Fogel-Shrive, a high school English teacher at California's Konocti Education Center in Konocti USD, says the activity gives students a medium to express themselves in a way they want to be seen.
Along with a greater focus on technical skills in the STEM disciplines, schools and districts have faced more pressure from employers and other stakeholders in recent years to ensure students develop more critical and creative thinking skills. This selfie activity falls in line with both, in addition to encouraging students to improve their verbal communication skills to hone their writing chops.
The practice also mimics approaches seen on a variety of popular television programming. While we wouldn't want to suggest that reality TV has finally contributed something beneficial to the world, it's hard to deny the benefits of using tech to help students learn to better analyze and explain topics and concepts in a format they're immediately familiar with — especially if it sparks some creativity in the process.