Project lead: Auralia Brooke, Graduate Student, University of Alberta

April 2013

In partnership with the MARS lab, students at Edmonton’s largest high school have created You Should Read This, a citizenship project that allows youth to anonymously find and share each others’ personal experiences from the school’s hallways using mobile phones.

Students create art work and posters with keywords that can be sent as a text message to retrieve specific stories about each others’ experiences.  The text messaging component of the project is exciting for the students and creates a private/public safe space in which they can interact with shared stories in order to build empathy and understanding for their peers as they navigate school hallways.

The MARS Lab uses FrontlineSMS to provide an inexpensive tool that makes it easy to set up and operate the keyword/story retrieval function.  The message logging feature on FrontlineSMS also provides a valuable dataset for the research because it logs every incoming keyword request, thereby providing detailed information on how the system was used by the students.

Future applications include an international story exchange in which students from Finland and Alberta explore each others’ understandings of citizenship using FrontlineSMS.

For more information about this project contact Auralia Brooke

See below for sample posters that are posted in the school hallways: