Constructor Lab
Leadership Summit
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

An Emoji Education

Location: W187b

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Monday, June 25, 1:00–2:00 pm
Location: W187b

Tony Vincent  
Get schooled on emojis! Emojis are cute cartoons you can type, and they are now part of the fabric of modern society. Let’s explore the history of emojis, what they mean, and how they affect communication. Experience ways emojis can boost productivity, creativity and learning.

Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: If you are using a laptop, please install the Emoji One extension for the Chrome web browser:
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Communication and collaboration
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.
  • Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to emojis. Emojis are not confined to smartphones and tablets; their charm can be put into action on mobile devices and computers since they are a standardized set of characters that work across platforms. Tony Vincent is somewhat obsessed with emojis and has dozens of clever ideas that any teacher can use. Innovative suggestions include illustrating ideas, offering feedback, reinforcing vocabulary, presenting math problems, kickstarting the writing process, and assessing learning.

Attendees will walk away with a firm understanding of how emojis can play a role in communication, productivity, creativity, and learning. Attendees will participate in online activities that can be easily reused in classrooms. Since an emoji’s meaning can be misinterpreted, attendees will also explore the potential for miscommunication.

There are a lot of great emoji ideas out there, and this session explores many of them. Attendees will receive a web address with lots of great resources for using emojis for teaching and learning.


The session will have a balance of talking about emojis and using them in various activities. Audience participation is encouraged.

1. History of emojis: What are they? Where did they come from? What’s the big deal? 🏛
2. How is the group feeling today? Create an emoji word cloud from audience responses. ☁
3. Emojis are drawn differently on different platforms. Let’s compare! 👀
4. What does that emoji actually mean? Game show time! 🎤
5. Emojis in text, email, and social media: See the difference a picture can make! ☝
6. Emojis as writing prompts: Let’s give it a try! 📝
7. Surprisingly helpful places for emojis: Lists, calendars, Google Drive, Google Classroom & more! 😲
8. Symbolic representations with emojis (great for vocabulary instruction)! 💥
9. Lighting Round! Tony and audience share more ways to put emojis to good use. ⚡
10. Wrap Up: An emoji exit ticket 🎟

Supporting research

“Blissfully happy” or “ready to fight”: Varying Interpretations of Emoji

What Communicating Only in Emoji Taught Me about Language in the Digital Age by Samantha Lee

Influence of Pictures on Word Recognition by Audrey A. Hazamy

Dual Coding in the Classroom by Blake Harvard


More [+]


Tony Vincent, Learning in Hand

Tony Vincent used to teach fifth grade in Omaha, Nebraska. Today he is self-employed and does what he can to help teachers be even more awesome. He’s proud to have lead workshops and made presentations in almost all 50 states and internationally. His website is at

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