Monday, March 7, 2016

Tech Coach Log: 3.4.16

Google Drawings and Memes

When I was in the classroom, I completely embraced the "meme movement". Memes are captioned images intended to be clever, witty, funny and or sarcastic. When I first saw them, I immediately saw them as a great way to get students to think critically and creatively.  I challenged students to take the "boring history facts" learned in my class and use them as fodder for creating captions on memes. 

At first, they were hesitant and not very good, but as time went on, the students' creative juices began to flow.  I printed the best student memes and displayed them on the wall. At one point, you could walk into my room and get the jist of what we just learned by looking at student memes.  Test review was no longer done with PowerPoint and study guides.  I simply displayed memes from the chapter/unit and students would discuss the image and caption.  It was amazing to see how the memes jogged their memories.  Instead of recalling facts, they discussed and explained concepts and themes.

Usage of memes is a great way to engage students and inject some creativity into their work.  It is a great first step towards fostering critical thinking.  Google Drawings is an excellent tool for generating memes.  It is part of any Google Account and student memes are conveniently saved in Google Drive.

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