I had the distinct pleasure of attending a small film festival in Dobbs Ferry, where a handful of Mercy College students’ digital stories were screened.  Just a little background, these students are not filmmakers, they are aspiring educators, scientist, business leaders… a range of disciplines.  There was a Math story!

After the screening students went up to the front of audience for a QA.  One student said (and I’m paraphrasing) “I made this for my Critical Inquiry class and I’m a Vet Tech major, and after this assignment, I want to continue making film, writing poetry, exploring my creative side.”  In the moment I’m listening in the audience with my wife and friends thinking “That’s nice.”  It wasn’t until we were back in the car headed home where my wife said, “Matt, you changed someone’s life for the better, you were instrumental in doing that.”  And that was the A-ha moment.  1) yeah, that’s great, but 2) thanks for pointing that out to me.

  1. We’re not the best at noticing our own strengths or constructing meaning of experiences on our own. It helps to have a generative ear, someone that is listening NOT because they’re empathetic or compassionate, but because they want to produce something in you, transform you.
  2. Mercy College’s Provost, Jose Herrara has said, “let’s take the time to step back and recognize talent, let’s document their journey, let’s tap into reflection and meta-cognition.” But how? Wouldn’t it have been great for this student to document her transformation, make her learning visible to others?

We can capture this in a meaningful way and show it to others, but most importantly get feedback!  At Mercy College we are doing this through ePortfolios, it makes learning visible.

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