“Know Thy ‘Selfie'” Using Selfies in the Classroom.

Our students are big fans of selfies–digital self-portraits. Maybe you do, too! Academics have created the Selfies Research Network to study the phenomenon. What about Selfies in the classroom? Johnson,  Maiullo, Trembley, Werner, & Woolsey (2014) note that selfies can facilitate student interaction, enable class bonding, and encourage interactivity between students both in and outside of classroom confines. They have also used Selfies as ice-breakers and experiential-learning opportunities.

In teacher preparation programs, how do we encourage our students to think critically about the selfie as cultural artifact? Mark Marino at USC developed the “Know Thy Selfie” assignment in which students critically examine their own selfies for certain identity characteristics: our race-ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and socio-economic status and write an essay based on their analysis.

Adeline Koh & Emily Van Duyne adapted the essay assignment into an in-class discussion with eight questions.

Have you done any exercises using selfies in your courses? How might you? Drop us a comment below or come chat with us in the T.E.C.H. Playground!

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