Selfie Activities to Inspire Reflection on Digital Identity

“The most exciting breakthroughs of the 21st century will not occur because of technology but because of an expanding concept of what it means to be human.” – John Naisbitt

Taking selfies has become a cultural phenomenon. Selfie was the word of the year for 2013 (Brumfield, 2013). Taking selfies is an important part of a student’s sense of self, self belief, and self-esteem. This is why one of the missions in my new book, Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions in Your Classroom, is for learners to go on a selfie adventure. The process of evaluating and editing oneself through images and trying to guess what peers will think impacts our students’ self-esteem. Students’ selfies do not necessarily depict how one sees themselves in reality. Instead, selfies are an altered sense of self. We need our learners to reflect on selfie culture and the impact of technology in their lives. ​Below are slides and selfie activities to inspire this reflection.

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  • Get students to go on a Back to School Selfie Adventure. Download the free slide presentation students you can adapt here.
  • Use an app to transform your selfies! Try CamMeGroup ShotBeFunkyPic-CollageEduBunceeAviaryImageChefYakit for KidsTouchCastFlipgrid, Facebook Live, Snapchat, Dubsmash, and Marco Polo iOS/Android.
  • Inspire students to go on selfie adventures to explore cultures, take risks, and learn about the world by showing them Alex Chacon’s Around the World in 360° Degrees – 3 Year Epic Selfie video.
  • Explore animal selfies! Students can learn about different animals around the world and explore their habitats.Get them to research who took the picture and why.
    • This article by CNN shows 15 animal selfies taken by carnivore researcher, Alexandra Swanson, who set up 225 camera traps at Serengeti National Park in Tanzania as part of her research.
    • Show them the Animal Selfies Tumblr or the Selfie Animal Tips video. They choose a favorite and write down reasons they liked this selfie.
  • Character selfie adventures- give each pair a stuffed animal, doll, character, or sock puppet. They will have to create 2 or more awesome selfies of this character.
  • Get students to spread joy with their selfies! Have them take creative selfies on their peers’ devices to make them laugh or smile.
  • Create a selfie comic adventure with Comics Head iOS/Android app, Friendstrip iOS/Android app, and Book Creator iOS/Android app.
  • Create a selfie comic video with Lomics iOS/Android app.
  • Create selfie avatar videos with Gabsee iOS/Android app.
  • Find several video selfie ideas for learners on Jamie Keddie’s VideoTelling website. Check out his selfie video tips here.
  • Inspire students by showing them powerful selfie campaigns, such as #GirlsWithToys and #ILookLikeAnEngineer.
  • Discover how museums are attracting younger visitors with selfies.
  • Get students to reflect on selfie etiquette by getting them to read about Yolocaust. Here’s an article with pictures.

Challenge: Get learners to reflect on the impact selfies have on their self esteem and peer relationships.

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell),, and on her blog,, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at

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