That phone in students’ hands? Hmmm…

Here is a summary of my Pecha Kucha Challenge presented at eTUG: Pushing Boundaries: Digital Spaces: Proposal: 6 slides in 6 minutes, GO!


“How can that phone in students’ hands be useful in the classroom?” Learning about diversity by watching student-creating selfies and foodie videos.


Helping students to become aware of the struggles of others and appreciate diversity is often challenging. I discovered that the traditional use of texts and articles during lessons was not always enough to challenge and change our law enforcement studies students’ deeply held stereotypes. One day before class had begun, I noticed a few of my students were sitting together, fully focused, engaged in animated conversation and were swapping references — about “foodie” videos. I realized I was seeing the exact learning practices (e.g., research, critical analysis, debating, and peer-to-peer directed learning) that I wished students would use when exploring diversity and social justice issues.

“Hmmm,” I wondered, “how can I use those students’ beloved foodie videos — along with the prodigious “selfie” videoing skills that many students’ have — to teach about diversity and social justice?” That was the origin for this “Spice of Life” student-created video assignment. Since then more than 400 “selfie” videos have been made — and discussed — by our 1st year students. In this presentation I will describe the lesson plan for this popular and successful video assignment; show one student’s diversity foodie video; discuss reasons why selfie videos succeeded where texts and articles failed; and finish with suggestions about how this assignment could be used in other disciplines.


Building competencies to become classroom content creators

Supporting capacity building amongst instructors and students in a range of technologies, media, contexts, and genres.


Dr. Jessica Motherwell McFarlane is a professional education consultant on gender, anti-oppression and social justice issues and a research associate at the Justice Institute of British Columbia. She is also the developer and director of the Life Outside the Box program that uses visual narratives as a way to SEE conflict and injustice from new perspectives. Jessica facilitates groups and schools needing to have complex — and sometimes emotionally painful — conversations. She offers workshops to at-risk children, youth, and adults on: Truth and Reconciliation, transforming bullying situations, and rehearsing best practices for self-care, inclusivity, and kindness.

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