Reblog? Vine? Memes? Sharing Bite-sized Narratives

“The most important thing any teacher has to learn can be expressed in seven words: Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners.” – John Holt

The way we learn, share, and communicate has been impacted by mobile devices. In my recent webinar, Sharing the Narratives of Our Lives: Meaningful Learning with Mobile Devices, I shared examples of the different ways individuals are using apps and mobile devices to communicate, connect, and express themselves. We can take these learning rituals and help support our students in being authors, producers, directors, and creators. I also talked about the new ways millions of us are sharing the narratives of our lives, through trends like reblogging, memes, vines, animated gifs, emojis, and ephemeral apps.

If you missed it, here’s the recording and download the slides.

Many of us are unaware of the way millions (including our students) create, produce, direct, summarize, translate, and share stories outside of learning institutions. All around the world, millions share the narratives of their lives through text, status updates on Facebook, tweets, images, and short videos. We share bite-sized chunks of our life stories in 140 characters, six second-videos, or memed images with a few words. That is why I created the 15 second video trailer below. This is the maximum time allowed to create Instagram videos. If you want to create a Vine video, you only get six seconds.

Summarizing a story into meaningful bite-sized chunks takes skill. According to David Crystal, students are writing more with technology than we could have ever written in the past ( They are blogging, microblogging, reblogging, videocasting, and texting constantly throughout the day. Their daily rituals include scanning streams of bite-sized information and responding to these narratives and knowledge through likes, comments, retweets, reposts, or reblogs.


Crystal, D. (2008, November). The joy of txt. Spotlight, 16-21. From:


Travel around the web and observe the way people communicate and learn in different social networks like Vine, Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter. What trends do you notice?

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell),, and on her blog,, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at


  1. Thank you for pulling together this article and sharing. This is just what I need for my organisation, we have identified the need and this will certainly help with my solution… 🙂

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