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 is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.


  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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