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Use Memes in Your Teaching

Frequent Commenter

With the ever evolving atmosphere in the classroom, it's hard to decide at times when we (as faculty) need to make things a bit more relatable or lighthearted while still maintaining a certain level of professionalism in our courses.  Memes are making their way into every environment it seems whether it be the workplace or an academic institution.  These memes provide a humorous mask for not-so-humorous topics.  For example:


While it plays on the struggle of students to find the work-play-sleep balance, it also makes it known that it's a struggle many students face and it is quite funny in its delivery.  They also utilize popular movies like this one does and so does this one below:


See the source image

Again, while they may play on the struggles of college students, it allows them to be viewed a bit more lightheartedly and sometimes finding the humor in something can keep you going.


It can also be used as a tool in class with students.  Just doing a quick Google search pulls up information about using humor to connect with your students and improve their learning.  Several links suggest that you can use memes to explain rules and expectations, add to your lecture/lab, and generate discussion.  


Here are a couple of links that popped up that I found interesting:


Have you all used memes in your classes?  How do you incorporate them?  If you don't, would you consider using them to get a closer connection to your students?  Or better yet, do you think it would foster a better connection with your students?  


I'll start:  I typically use memes in a more conversational style such as during lecture because I've found that it does keep their interest and breaks up the monotony of lecture days.  Plus, who doesn't love a good math pun? 




I love this and agree it would be a good way to start the class on a lighter note.>:)


Love this idea. I tried a few of the recommended meme-making tools. I liked Memegenerator the best. I made this:




Make a Meme was also easy to use:





So they're easy to make and attention-getting, but I'm wondering what kinds of things would I want to put into these memes besides, as I've done here, reminders to students of good study practices.....things that came up in class that might be helpful on an upcoming test perhaps.....?




Frequent Commenter

That was my question exactly Michael.  I liked the humor behind it and using them to potentially get class started, discuss class policies, or discuss study practices, but I felt like it might be limited to just those practices.  One of the links discussed how a teacher asked her students to create the memes, but again, I feel like I would find it difficult to relate it to class material and even more difficult to attach a grade to it.


They're kinda like gifs - I love to use them and they can be very effective for something things, but knowing which gif might work for what purpose is the tough part.  I use Giphy to find them.  Cool tool.