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In a combined effort with ScreenPal®, formerly Screencast-o-Matic, Mentorship Academy is proud to launch the “DIGITAL LITERACY FITNESS CONTEST.” 


Our founder, Martin Mehl has a special relationship with Screencast-O-Matic (SOM) and is a long-term strategic partner & research consultant with the SOM team. Consistent with his nearly two decades of research efforts and interests in digital literacy and the mentorship communication mindset, this campaign brings out the best in this great partnership and SOM's product suite. Here is a brief excerpt of Mehl’s chapter in the new Handbook entitled  ‘Digital Literacy & Mentorship Communication.’ (Fielding University Press/Oxford University Press, to be released in 2022.) 

“We can no longer take technology out of human learning, but we need to learn that technology requires the human touch, and we will call that the mentorship communication mindset. We can not separate motivation, validation, and caring from learning. More than ever, human relationship building and purposeful, intentional, and deliberated communication take center stage, serving as the glue of the mentoring environment and the thriving next generation of change agents while fully integrating technology. We need to be fit & fluent in digital literacy first and build connections through the mentorship communication mindset to proactively guide the learner of the post-pandemic-planet to embrace this moment of disruptive learning innovation and cultural change.”


To get the digital literacy contest started, we set a pre-launch kickstart inside the Spring 2021 virtual classroom at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, using 75+ GE students online, live, and taught to join the efforts, starting on March 29, 2021.  


Background info: All students enrolled at the University need to pass the general education courses, independent of the six colleges they are assigned to: (1) Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, CAFES  (2) Architecture & Environmental Design, CAED (3)  Engineering,  CENG (4) Liberal Arts, CLA (5) Science and Mathematics, COSAM (6) Orfalea College of Business, OCOB. They are required to take one of each course in the GE A-E ; (general education) within Area A: English Language Communication and Critical Thinking: 1 (written), 2 (spoken), and 3 (critical thinking). Other GE areas in their comprehensive curriculum training include Area B: Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning, Area C: Arts and Humanities, Area D: Social Sciences, and Area E: Lifelong Learning and Self-Development. 


One of the most important efforts for Prof. Mehl is maintaining ethical integrity, professional development training, and higher education boundaries. Students had to complete the formal academic rigor and comply with the California State regulations of the CSU GE standards for research, public speaking, writing, critical thinking, documentation, and digital literacy.


A pool ranging from 10-12 students was randomly selected and interviewed about their journey along the way. They reflected on being exposed to the tool, navigating the instrument, and optimizing their digital literacy skills. Out of the randomly selected students that participated in pre, during & post interviews, ~ 33 % made it also to the finalist stage, and one even turned out to be the TECH SAVVY winner. watch here



Learners had the opportunity of “opting into” the contest - separate from the academic standards and grading to avoid turning the classroom into a popularity contest.


70+ presentations were pre-recorded in SOM  and live played during nine 110-minute Zoom sessions (almost 1000 minutes.) Peers nominated classmates in each section on three different presentation days as either the BEST CONTENT or the BEST DELIVERY of the day on an Informative speech topic that went through a rigorous proposal stage. 


The peers voted sixteen classmates into the final round, reflecting the top 12 % of the course. Coincidentally every college was at least represented once, even though there was no control to regulate or assure that distribution.  Each student was contacted with the contest guidelines and an opportunity to confirm that they wanted their submission to be up for consideration in the competition. Nearly 90 % of the finalists opted to participate in the contest and agreed that their work can be published. 



Each student received a premium license sponsored by SOM and training in digital literacy from Prof. Mehl. The SOM team held 3 x 30 min live zoom workshops catered toward the course requirements covering the fundamental options in the SOM screen recording and editing functions in each of the three sections involved. 


The team at Screencast-O-Matic also provided two open, drop-in office hours windows of 180 min total in the last week leading up to the presentation deadlines, confirming that there was tech support available and any tool-related questions answered. The classroom portal, canvas, was used with a designated module to post the edited training presentation of a combined 30-minute video and FAQ.



1. Nathaniel Gram Boden |  Industrial Engineering Major | CENG (3) 

2. Arnulfo Bravo | Biomedical Engineering Major | CENG (3) 

3. Hoku Chidester | English Major | CLA (4) 

4. Hugh M. Carlin | Business Major | OCOB (6)

5. Alexa Cuneo | Nutrition Major | CAFES (1) 

6. Corina Rose Klein | Animal Science Major | CAFES (1) 

7. Isaac Lopez | Agricultural Science Major | CAFES (1) 

8. Lauren Mackenzie Scheidt | Dairy Science Major | CAFES (1) 

9. Natasha Alexandra Malinovsky | English Major   | CLA (4) 

10. Greta C. Nerad | Architecture Major | CAED (2) 

11. Lauren Shirley | Architecture Major | CAED (2) 

12. Kemper Shrock | Mechanical Engineering Major  | CENG (3)

13. Maré Evelyn Sutphen | Physics Major | COSAM (5)

14. Clare Corinne Zianno | English Major | CLA (4) 


4 x College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences (total enrolled: 4,116)

3 x College of Engineering (total enrolled: 5,866)

3 x College of Liberal Arts (total enrolled: 3,491)

2 x College of Architecture & Environmental Design (total enrolled: 2,035)

1 x College of Science & Mathematics  (total enrolled: 2,790)

1 x Orfaela College of Business (total enrolled: 3,144)



On May 21, 2021, the Screencast-o-Matic team diligently allocated two back-to-back sessions totaling 3 1/2  hours to review, deliberate, and adjudicate among the finalists. Even among the winners, SOM can share how to still turn it up a notch with our 15 min quick edit tool and go from static to stratospheric presentation in no time. watch the edits



Announcement video


#1 THE GRINDER | Recognizing: Efforts + Care


Nutrition Major | College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Science

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA


#2 THE VISIONARY | Recognizing: Delivery + Charisma


Biomedical Engineering Major | College of Engineering

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA



#3 THE INFLUENCER | Recognizing: Content + Research 


English Major | College of Liberal Arts

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA

* modified w/in 15 min video editing




#4 THE TECH SAVVY | Recognizing: Mastery of the Tech Tool 


Architecture Major | College Architecture & Environmental Design

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA




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