Memes, memes, and our newest activity: New Phone Who Dis

Jonathan Libov

Jonathan Libov

Jonathan is the Founder & CEO of Antimatter

We have a mantra here at Antimatter: What a time to be a teacher or learner. We repeat it when designing new activities and experiences, because what's happening now in education is exciting:

  1. The quantity and quality of learning material available to students is rapidly expanding
  2. Software (generally) makes it easier and faster for teachers to administer lessons and curricula

This means that teachers and students can spend less time in the classroom on direct instruction and more time on synthesis (often referred to as Flipped Classroom).

Synthesis is the purpose that memes serve in education and the internet more broadly. They’re puzzles, and the shortest form of storytelling that humans have ever invented. This is why we're a learning platform oriented around memes.

When you think of memes, though, you think about an image with captions, but we like to think of those as "Uppercase Memes". "Lowercase memes" are units of culture that compress information, and they can take many forms.

Introducing New Phone Who Dis

Today we’re introducing the first activity on Antimatter that isn’t about Uppercase “Memes”. It’s called New Phone Who Dis, and it’s an activity where students can role play as a historical figure, fictional character, or even a concept from math or science, within a simulated text chat on an iPhone. Check it out (sound up!):


There’s a long tradition in the classroom of creating dialogue as a learning activity that we don’t need to explain much. We’ll add this: Check out how much this looks (and sounds) like an iPhone chat. It makes an valuable learning activity extra, extra fun. What a time to be a teacher or learner!

This is the kind of activity that the team at Antimatter would have loved to do when we were students, and the educators in our ambassador program have helped us tailor it for today's classrooms. In particular, they've helped us make it really, really easy to mix and match students in groups.

Here are but a few of the chats we've had while developing and testing New Phone Who Dis:

  • Truman and Churchill during WWII
  • Caesar and Brutus
  • Cartesian Coordinates and Polar Coordinates
  • Newton and Einstein
  • Romeo and Juliet

We had a blast creating this and we're excited to see everything you create with New Phone Who Dis. Check it out now on Antimatter.