Notes from “The Social Media Portfolio: Using Technology to Promote Meta-cognitive Skill Development” at NWP’s Digital Is

The Social Media Portfolio: Using Technology to Promote Meta-cognitive Skill Development

At NWP’s Digital Is

Rafi Santo, Amana Kaskazi, and Shonell Richmond

  • Global Kids
    • 20 Years in existence and focusing on significant global issues
    • Issues: Local to global and global to local understanding
    • Leadership: Skills necessary to affect change
    • Technology: How does new media contribute to our mission of global citizenship; our mission to empower youth voice aligned well with the use of technology
    • Youth: We work with youth in a variety of contexts, both locally and from a distance through technologies and in virtual worlds
    • Afterschool: Need to overcome the stereotypes of afterschool technology programs that create “super geeks”; our students are not geeks, necessarily, but there is something much broader about how to use technology in these contexts
  • Media Masters
    • Goals for addressing the challenges to media literacy
      • Giving students the means and skills to produce media who otherwise might not be able
      • Discussing ethical issues surrounding digital media production and participation
      • Promote active student reflection on skill development
    • Creating a “digital transcript“creating a portfolio with Voice Thread
      • Examining media use (music, web, etc)
      • Visualization, negotiation, and other key themes
      • Recognize the skill, utilize the skill, and enact the skill (Do it, recognize it, talk about it)
    • Discussion
      • Specific example of Harry Potter reading to discuss copyright, appropriation, and “whole life learning”
      • What can the assessment tell us — about students’ change in media literacy skills, attitudes, and abilities?
      • How can an assessment like this work in school contexts (very qualitative, not quantitative)?
      • How can we connect this to other academic skills?
      • Student preparation for portfolios — having earned the badges, it was easier to identify the project that connected to the skill, but then we had to add a reflection to it, and that was more difficult
      • Extending the assessments into different contexts; using this portfolio with meta-cognitive elements for other purposes, such as college admissions
      • Helping make explicit for young people the ways in which we are asking them to think
      • Power of ownership and the ability to hear someone’s voice, as well as the commitment behind the voice
      • How does having a framework help make the portfolio more powerful?
      • Using writing to teach critical thinking in different content areas


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Author: Troy Hicks

Dr. Troy Hicks is a professor of English and education at Central Michigan University. He directs both the Chippewa River Writing Project and the Master of Arts in Educational Technology degree program. A former middle school teacher, Dr. Hicks has authored numerous books, articles, chapters, blog posts, and other resources broadly related to the teaching of literacy in our digital age. Follow him on Twitter: @hickstro

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