Humor is one of our favorite tools for enhancing learning and making it more pleasurable. For those who were born with a pocketful of amusing anecdotes (Anne) or lightning quick wit (Pat, although he hates it when I say that), integrating liberal doses of humor into classes is a snap. (See Dr. Kevin Felton’s series on “The Two-Joke Minimum” earlier in this blog.) However, some of us are destined forever to be members of the audience at the comedy show, or, at best, straight men/women providing a blank canvas on which our chuckle-inducing colleagues can splash their funnies.
What can we humor-challenged, boring teachers do to spice things up? Why, borrow some tee-hees from the professionals, of course. At http://www.xkcd.com I’ve found a never-ending stream of hahas that Randall Munroe, author of the site, allows me to copy and share as long as I don’t sell them. He and his creation are featured in the February 11 issue of Time magazine in Adam Sorenson’s “Cats, Bears, and Bacon.”
xckd is heavy on math and science, but almost any instructor will find something giggle-worthy for his class. I forwarded one of last week’s strips to an English colleague whom I have frequently bugged for help in capitalizing titles appropriately:
Here’s another entry that I shared with both my biology and math buds:
So if you’re feeling a little gloomy, click over to www.xkcd.com. Warning: Perusing the site can result in reduced time on task and excessive forwarding of links to friends.