CMC: “Inspire, educate, influence”

Jul 5, 2014

(Christine Muszynski)

Hello All! I’m sad to say that today was the last day of The Children’s Media Conference 2014.

One of the sessions I attended today was “Learning and Laughter” hosted by Jonathan Sanderson. The three different panelists all discussed exploring humor and how it can help kids learn and ask questions while engaging in the classroom.

The first to present was Rani Price from Crafty Science. She discussed that humor is used in both mediums to create an environment where information can be conveyed. She states that the key to engaging children is to find your own language that fits their needs and draws them in. To conclude her speech, she states “let the children have control”.

Simon Kerrigan, a teacher of Science and Psychology for over 15 years, was second to present. Using laughter is a way to help students engage. How does laugher affect learning you may ask? A few examples he listed was that it creates a relax environment and helps humanize the teacher. In addition, it helps the students make connections and relate what they are watching to what they are being taught in the classroom. It’s important to keep in mind that there is a difference between good media and bad media to use. He explained good media as content that is appropriate and relates to the subject to help students further understand the information. Bad media, on the other hand, is content that distracts the children from what is to be learned. Overall, using humorous media can help inspire, educate, and influence which ultimately makes kids enjoy learning.

The third and final presenter was Professor Sophie Scott. She is a Trust Senior Fellow at University College London, specifically focusing on research of the neuroscience of voices, speech, and laughter. One of the key points I wrote down from her presentation was that laughter is a universal emotion and it’s something we all share with others. Laughter is a social behavior that we learn at a very young age. She states that we laugh more with the people we know.

What I enjoyed the most about this session was that all of the presenters had a unique way of causing us to laugh during the hour time period. Learning media can be humorous and can lead to effective learning when used correctly.

I’ll end today’s post from a quote that Professor Sophie Scott had shared with the group – “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”

Overall, this session and all of the speakers truly showed that when humor is used correctly, it can be a vital tool when trying to create a relaxed and fun atmosphere for children’s learning environments.