A Purposeful Use for Silly Media?

A Purposeful Use for Silly Media?

An invited pre-conference session for the 24th Teaching, Colleges, and Community Online Conference.

Do easily shared social media content like memes and animated GIFs represent the worst elements of internet culture? Are they inappropriate for academic work? Are there purposeful applications for "silly media"? The characteristics of these media forms can help attract attention to concepts. Humor may ease online communications or provide discussion points for in-class presentations. Rather than just re-sharing media others have made, what can you or your students accomplish by creating your own?

Mostly associated with pop culture references, the concept of the meme has its roots in the scientific community. This presentation will suggest ways we can augment online teaching by just adding images to words, not as an aesthetic, but for visualizing examples, applying metaphors, and opening discussion topics.

Like memes, animated GIFs are often used to generate a laugh, a smile, maybe just a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. But considering them as short-form video, their looping structure is effective for demonstrating natural processes or showing hands-on techniques where repetition can aid understanding.

Learn what you and your students might accomplish by creating your own meme images and animated GIFs. These media we see mostly “just to be funny” in social spaces, with your creative teaching idea, might be used in a much more meaningful way.

Links and more resources at https://cog.dog/show/2019/03/20/silly-media/


Alan Levine

March 20, 2019