Phrase of the Week: TIL

lol brb :-) @

lol brb 🙂 @ (Photo credit: nicolasnova)

As a late and rather inept adopter of smartphone technology, I am slowly learning the unique alphabet of text speak. (Sadly, this is proving to be a necessity when reading student emails and, even more sadly, their written assignments.  But I digress….)  I was delighted to find that Google knows the meanings of all those curious multi-cap snippets, including some that I wish I hadn’t checked.

I’ve progressed from LOL to ROFL to SMH.  My current favorite is TIL.  Did you Google it?  TIL is “Today I Learned.”  T-I-L seems like a T-O-O-L waiting to be used.  We all know that asking students to recap the day’s main learning objectives is a tried-and-true way to consolidate learning.  Students with smart phones might text me during the last moments of class, while those without that gadget could write their TIL the old-fashioned way.  The TIL would need to be submitted during the final moments, thus discouraging early departure from the session.

  • The TIL could also be specifically focused: “TIL that protein synthesis is important because…..” (sneaky early departers would not know the prompt…unless a confederate sent it to them, I suppose.)
  • “TIL  that my favorite celllular organelle is ….”
  • The TIL could be used to encourage connections with other disciplines: “TIL that Greek sculptors knew a lot about muscular anatomy because they liked to represent specific muscles such as……..”
  • “TIL things that I can do to avoid fractures, such as …”
  • “TIL this surprising fact about the human brain……”
An image macro illustrating a pun from similar...

An image macro illustrating a pun from similar sounding “Rofl” and “waffle”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TIL could be used in virtually any discipline.  It might be fun to start the next class by sharing the most interesting or funniest TIL’s from the previous session or some data regarding the class’s responses.  After all, YOLO.


Have you found a way to incorporate popular technology or its byproducts in your classes?  Please share.


One comment on “Phrase of the Week: TIL

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