A meme is “…a virally-transmitted cultural symbol or social idea” (source). Meme Generator is a web-based tool that allows users to quickly and easily create their own visual image meme. In this case, a meme is media content that usually consists of a popular image and typically two sections of text: one at the top and one at the bottom. Memes can convey a wide variety of messages and intent (i.e. humor, politics, education).
|Type of learning||Social constructivism; Connectivism|
|Ease of Use||★★★★★|
|ISTE Standards for Students||Knowledge Constructor,
Created in 2009, MemeGenerator.net was the first online meme generator and today, continues to give users the ability to create memes free-of-charge and avoid the tedious proccess of repetedly copying images into a program and adding text sections manually. Overall, Meme Generator is a great tool to use as a means of breaking up students’ projects or presentations. It can be used to highlight a key concept by making it jump out from the rest of the material and its often-humorous nature can help boost retention of the content (source). Employing modern slang and pop culture references also furthers this tool’s use as an effective, simple means of making subject matter more relatable to the students.
Meme Generator is extremely easy to use. The layout of the site is very straight-forward. As for creating memes, the user can only change the image and the text so you don’t have anything to worry about in terms of formatting or design. The site is great in terms of privacy because everything can be done without registering a profile, hence avoiding forfeiting any personal information. Users without a profile can create and publicly post memes and comment on or “like” existing memes anonymously. However, as with many online tools, it lacks in accessibility. Meme Generator does not offer any accessibility features, such as adding alternative text on memes, which makes the tool and memes generated by the tool challenging to use by students with visual impairments.
However, be sure that when selecting outside images to use for your meme, you are choosing images that you are allowed to use legally. For example, if you are using Google Images to find images, select “Search tools”, then “Usage rights”, and then the appropriate copyright description (although each choice will usually yield the same results).
Meme Generator & the SAMR Model
Here is an example of how Meme Generator might fit within the SAMR model:
- Substitution: Students create memes to note important key concepts of a particular lesson or section, rather than simply listing as bullet points.
- Augmentation: Student use free accounts to anonymously comment constructive criticism and “like” one another’s memes.
- Modification: Students post their memes on Meme Generator and use the feedback offered in the comments to make improvements to their work.
- Redefinition: The teacher prioritizes the key parts of the material and uses the student-created memes of the most important concepts within in the study guide for an assessment or review so as to highlight those concepts by making them stand out from the rest of the text.
- Illustrate a change in a major character with a quote from the beginning of the work (displayed at the top) and a quote from later in the work (displayed at the bottom).
- Present an important theorem.
- Provide a quote that encapsulates an essential belief of a particular people in history.
- Present an essential quote from a historical figure.
- Poke fun at a historical figure’s mistakes.
- Illustrate the nature of a particular species in terms of behavior, diet, habitat, etc.
Government / Politics
- Summarize a political party’s stance on a certain matter.
- Help spread awareness about important current issues.
- Make Memes and Quotes with Your Class
- Using Internet Memes to Connect with Your Class
- Five Ways to use Memes to Connect with Students
- Memes in the Classroom?
- Classroom Rules Memes
- Teacher Memes
- 12 Completely Genius Teaching Memes
- How to Make a Meme
- How to Create Funny Memes About Issues that Matter
- 5 Ways to Use Memes in the Classroom
How to Use Meme Generator
- Go to MemeGenerator.net.
- Scroll over “Create” at the top panel and click “Create a Meme Image”.
- If the desired image is not shown, type what you are looking for into the “search…” box and click “Search”.
- Select an image and it will appear larger above.
- Fill in the box for “TOP TEXT” and/or “BOTTOM TEXT” and you will immediately see a preview of what your image will look like.
- Once you are finished, you can check “Upload to imgur” if you want others to be able to see it.
- You can also select a language if you wish.
- Click “GENERATE”.
- Your creation can now be saved, copied, or opened in another tab by simply right-clicking on it and selecting the corresponding option. You can also select “Delete this image” to delete it and start over.
Börzsei, L. K. (2013, March). Makes a Meme Instead: A Concise History of Internet Memes. New Media Studies Magazine, (7), 1-25. Retrieved November 12, 2016, from http://works.bepress.com/linda_borzsei/2/