Friday, April 10, 2020

Moving Classroom Humor Online

Ten years ago, I wrote an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Making a Case for Classroom Humor:
I never dreamed of being a college professor. Does anybody? When my third-grade teacher asked us about our dream job, Molly said, “Astronaut.” Evan, “An actor.” Perry: “Obtain a terminal degree and lecture on legal morasses.”  
Whether you teach third grade or nuclear physics, every student wants a good laugh. As teacher accountability objectives collide with shorter attention spans, laughter is the secret ingredient to keep everyone on task.

As we teach online, I am searching for ways to mirror humor and learning outside the classroom.  For example, I just conducted a virtual class meeting with headphones and a graduation gown since I have so many seniors in Internet Law. After posting this picture, I posed these questions to students: Does this photograph violate the university logo's copyright and trademark, or is it a "fair use?" More relevant, how badly does this picture tarnish the university's brand?!

Over the summer, I am teaching another class online. To me, the first day is the most important session because it sets the tone for the semester. I usually tell a story about visiting a student in jail late at night. He was wrongly imprisoned and frightened when I arrived but eventually I got him to smile (and got him an attorney). That story can be seen in this YouTube video (3 minutes), where the takeaway is that the law is serious business but we will learn about it with a little bit of humor. I would like to make my first virtual summer class equally impactful.

My question to all of the hard-working college professors and K-12 teachers currently teaching online: How are you making your class challenging, memorable, and of course, funny? Please post your success stories on Twitter: @Perry_Binder.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.