Profile

Nicole Mirra's picture
Nicole
Mirra

About

Nicole Mirra is an assistant professor of urban teacher education at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Her teaching and research examines the intersections between critical literacy and civic engagement across multiple contexts, including urban secondary English classrooms, grassroots youth organizations, and digital learning communities. Nicole was previously the coordinator of the UCLA Council of Youth Research, a youth participatory action research (YPAR) collective in Los Angeles, and she continues to engage in YPAR today with youth in New York and New Jersey. Her first book, Doing Youth Participatory Action Research (Routledge, 2015), offers guidance to educators seeking to implement YPAR in their contexts. Nicole's work has also been published in a variety of journals, including English Journal, Voices from the Middle, Democracy & Education, and Review of Research in Education. She is currently working on a new book about empathy in the English classroom.

Writing Project Site

UCLA Writing Project

Organization

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Contributions

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By James Ziolkowski 

HitRecord is an online community created by Joseph Gordon Levitt where people gather to share their creations that include writing, music, video, and art in an effort to collaborate and create full scale productions that end up on Hitrecord TV.  While the overall goals of Hitrecord are aimed at creating productions for television, they are not the only reason people use the site.  Hitrecord.org is a space for creativity and networking before it is anything else, and therefore presents an incredible opportunity for classroom utilization.  

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on Jan 14, 2017
by Nicole Mirra
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By Dana Proctor

I have never been very good with computers.  Since childhood, I have always favored putting pen to paper and most often use technology to craft traditional texts in my academic and personal writing.  By a narrow margin, I escaped college without need of a smart phone and use my laptop to a fraction of its full potential.  Having always had access to various digital tools, I am living proof that such resources are not inherently valuable, but rather only as useful and constructive as the instruction that accompanies them. 

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on Jan 14, 2017
by Nicole Mirra
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By Courtney Magnuson

What if there was a way to make writing fun for students in a game-like setting? Now there is! Storium is an online creative writing website that incorporates a game-like feeling with the introduction of player cards and attributes (strengths and weaknesses) that the writer gets to choose. The website is easy and fun to use, while creating an incentive to flex those writing muscles. 

I played with Storium for a few weeks and once I got over the initial learning curve, I was able to see how the website can be used in an ELA classroom. Signing up for the site is quick, painless, and free. You only need an email, username, and password. Once I signed up for the site I did a bit of browsing. I browsed through the stories in progress and I went through the forum.

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on Jan 14, 2017
by Nicole Mirra
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By Aaron Goulette

While undertaking my New and Multimodal Literary course at my university, I was tasked with finding new forms of teaching literacy and English-based skills using a variety of web applications. During one of our readings, Civilization had been discussed as encouraging forms of connected learning opportunities as well as a strong tool for meta-analysis and logic. As a gamer myself, I felt the need to jump on this opportunity. After searching for what others had done, such as the attempt of a Norwegian English / Social Science course using Civilization as a learning tool I realized I was not alone. The potential is there, but the key is knowing how to tap into it.

For my research, I selected Sid Meier’s Civilization V to undertake this task. The sole task of the player is to create a Civilization from any era to outclass or out score other players in the game based the following criteria: Warfare, Culture, Technology, or Score.

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on Jan 14, 2017
by Nicole Mirra
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By Rebecca Guerrero

When I first embarked on the decision to explore the website Storybird.com, I went in as an artist, a literature geek, and a future educator, completely sold on the idea that art and writing can be a beautiful meeting place for learning to occur. While the school landscape is often regrettably bogged down by standardized test prep, research has shown that incorporation of the arts promotes the kind of critical thinking skills students will utilize in life. 

Storybird, which told me immediately that it was a visual storytelling community, did not disappoint my expectations in this respect. After perusing and creating I was convinced that the educational opportunities of the site were limited only by an educator’s own imagination and dedication to thoughtful curriculum building.

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on Jan 14, 2017
by Nicole Mirra

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