Media in the Classroom: Using Batman and ‘The Simpsons’ as Teaching Tools

Every year, the Comic-Con and Wonder-Con Conventions greet hundreds of thousands of fans, industry insiders, and reporters from across the world in order to showcase the latest and greatest of all things superhero- and comic book–related. While the conventions have been taking place since 1970 and 1987, respectively, for the past 20 years there has been an added facet to the festivities: the Comics Arts Conference. Known as the CAC, the purpose of its panels is to showcase work in the academic field relating to the world of comic books and superheroes. This past March, I was lucky enough to attend five of the different panels, whose topics range from utilizing The Simpsons as a learning tool to questioning the morality of DC Comic’s “The New 52” relaunch. What follows is a summary and analysis of some of the first panel I attended, titled “All I Really Need to Know, I Learned from Batman and Bart, Man: Embiggening Brains Without Crayon Implants.” This panel featured three different professors utilizing comic book and animated characters in an academic setting to improve student learning. Continue reading “Media in the Classroom: Using Batman and ‘The Simpsons’ as Teaching Tools” »