4 digital identity exercises for students
Introduce a student-centered tech-rich year
Looking for ways to explore digital identity with students? Here are 4 student-centered, tech-rich digital identity exercises for working with students. As a bonus, all the exercises produce media that students can add to their digital portfolios. Let’s watch!
1. iMovie trailers
Have students make a video where they introduce themselves with tiny clues about their personalities, then revealing their names and faces at the end:
Educator Katie Sullivan calls this the “Who Am I?” game, and it gives students a way to grapple with a very large idea — their own identity — by breaking it down into manageable chunks. The gamified aspect introduced by clues and guessing could add a fun element of mystery especially to smaller classes, or cohorts of students who’ve all known each other for a long time.
(Hi tiny rural VT schools, how you doin’?)
2. Welcome videos with Touchcast
Touchcast is a free iOS app that allows students to create truly interactive videos, with embedded maps and polls that allow real-time voting. And at Westville High School in Oklahoma, students are using Touchcast to create welcome videos:
As you can see, the finished product uses a standard embed code through the Share icon, and so can be added to digital portfolio platforms such as Blogger, WordPress or Google Sites.
3. “One Thing”: a school-wide intro video
This is something truly special created by two 8th grade students at Crossett Brook Middle School, in Waterbury VT. They interviewed not just their fellow middle grades students, but educators and administrators too. The students asked their community to think of the one thing they most wanted everyone to know about them.
Then everyone wrote their One Thing on a big white card, and the student filmmakers shot a few seconds of each person holding their One Thing card.
The resulting video is a moving portrait of a complex and personal school community. It’s also a great piece to share out at parent and community nights.
4. Mix a video intro with other media for interactive school portraits
An innovative way for students to explore who they are happens in Lori Lisai’s classroom at Lamoille Union Middle School, in Hardwick VT, where Lisai works with them to craft an interactive biography through her Geography of Self project.
A bulletin board houses the student self portraits. Eighth graders include their seventh grade portraits as well. This gives a visual representation of growth-over-time.
Another way to blend video and other media with Thinglink is by using their blueprint for creating an idealized representation of a student’s identity. Students can pull in links to other ideas that feel important to them.
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