Writing and Work Samples

These samples shed light mainly on my work with one set of ideas, those relating to New Media Literacies as defined by media scholar Henry Jenkins.

All of the works included, save the scholarly article, were produced in the course of my employment at Global Kids (olp.globalkids.org), specifically through my work collaborating with Henry Jenkins and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Project New Media Literacies (now located at USC) to create an afterschool program building on the ideas put forth in the project’s white paper [pdf], Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century (Jenkins et al, 2006). The program, called Media Masters, aimed to promote New Media Literacy (NML) skill development and awareness of this skill development through the creation of a body of work that included media artifacts addressing global and social issues.

Included in this portfolio are the following items:

WritingTowards a Critical Participatory Culture: Synthesizing Lessons from the Media Literacy and New Media Literacy Movements.  This paper aims to bring together the strengths of the Media Literacy and New Media Literacy movements in terms of both their core contributions as well as their respective cultures and narratives for the purpose of creating a new framework for media education which I call Critical Participatory Culture.

Curricular DesignMedia Masters Workshop – Play, Simulation & Serious Games [pdf].  This workshop looked at games relating to social issues as a means of understanding and acquiring specific NML’s and used blogging as a form of assessment of said skill development.  Included is both the lesson plan as well as a student handout designed for the lesson.

Assessment (1)NML Survey [pdf].   Spearheaded in 2006 after the NML white paper was published, this pre/post assessment was developed for use not only in the Media Masters program, but across our programs at Global Kids so that we could develop a better understanding of how different program designs afforded varied types of NML skill acquisition.  In the course of developing the instrument, I worked with staff at MIT’s Project NML, Dan Hickey of Indiana University and James Diamond of the Center for Children and Technology to integrate feedback from experts both in the content of the survey as well as in assessment methodologies. The tool is still being iterated upon for effectiveness and accuracy and has been utilized by both Global Kids and Project NML.

Assessment (2)Digital Literacy Transcript and Social Media Portfolio.  These were two defining components of the Media Masters program.  The Digital Literacy Transcript visually documented different aspects of the NML’s that a student in the program acquired over time. While this to some degree served a summative function for students, in practice it was more often used as a formative assessment tool.  Every 4-6 weeks the students would receive an updated version of their transcript, which was then used to start a conversation about which projects they recently completed corresponded to various new “badges” they had earned, and why.  The Social Media Portfolio served as the final project of students in the program in which they gathered and contextualized select media artifacts they’d created into a coherent body of work. The portfolios were voice annotated, and provided the participants an opportunity to publicly talk not only about the projects they engaged in, but also the corresponding skill development that took place.  The portfolios were designed to be used in the context of college admissions, and a number of the students that participated in the program have already included it in their applications. In the development of the portfolio concept, admissions officers at both community colleges and Ivy League institutions were consulted. All gave very positive feedback and shared strategies for how to effectively situate the portfolios within a college application.  These strategies were incorporated into the design of the portfolios.


– While my work with NML’s has been substantial over the course of my professional career, it is by no means the only framework or recent literature in the field that I have been deeply influenced by.  I chose to focus on it for this sample because it is one that I’ve had significant opportunities to instantiate in a variety of professional and scholarly formats.

– Save the article, of which I was the sole author, all of the works included here were developed in the context of a highly collaborative professional environment, and as a result I cannot fully claim these works as solely my own.  However, I aimed to select work samples wherein I was the “lead author”, as it were.

Hi there.

Rafi in thailand, smiling

If you're reading this, then you've reached the web log of Rafi Santo. This is my little slice of the internet where I can share my passion (or whatever) with the world.

Research. Meditation. Learning theory. Spirituality. Activism. Cooking. New Media. Pedagogy. Photography. It's all fair game, and will likely coalesce into some unholy mixture thereof. But hey, that's the integral life.



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