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TikTok Dances Its Way Into The English Curriculum

Deakin University is exploring ways to include digital writing

Picture this, you’re back in high school. Nightmare already. Now you’ve got to hand in an essay about the theme of fate in ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Boring, right? What if instead of writing a thousand words, you could just sum it all up with a TikTok? Teenagers of the future might be able to do just that if researchers at Deakin University are successful.

Deakin Uni has been given around half a million dollars by the Government to find ways to allow digital writing to be a part of the secondary school curriculum. What is digital writing? Your TikToks, your memes, your blogs, your podcasts, your Instagram posts.

Instead of having to analyse the work of Shakespeare in an essay, teenagers might be required to create a TikTok about the play instead. Which would definitely make it almost impossible for parents to be able to with homework anymore.

Lucinda McKnight, who is the lead researcher for the study, said they hoped this would bring the curriculum “kicking and screaming into the 21st century”. It won’t get rid of the classics but instead make them more relevant to kids’ daily lives. Kind of like how in movies about an inspirational teacher in a rough area, the teacher will say something like ‘you know, Shakespeare was the original rapper’.

Dr. McKnight said that students “could make a TikTok lesson featuring characters from Romeo and Juliet drawing on their knowledge and insight” and absolutely destroying their algorithm in the process.

“And instead of writing a newspaper article, they could write a news blog or a podcast about the AFL or an Instagram post.” Personally, I’d pick the Instagram post. Pop up a photo of a seagull swallowing a burrito whole with the caption “it me” and then write one of those English teacher pleasing paragraphs that explains that “Deep down I see myself not only as this seagull eating like a glutton but also as the burrito being swallowed by the seagull, which is a metaphor for all of the responsibilities in my life.”

The study will be conducted over three years. By which point something new will have come along and TikTok will be a platform for boomers that nobody uses anymore and teenagers of the future will probably complain: “I only really use it when I have to post assignments for English”.