How Teachers Use Emoji

From classroom management to assignments to apps, emoji are a top visual learning tool.

Ten billion. That is the number of emoji that are sent worldwide every single day. Over the last decade emoji have become an essential tool of communication, so it makes sense that their presence in the classroom has also seen a meteoric rise. Children in particular are avid users of the icons (many preliterate kids learn to text emoji well before words) and teachers and educators everywhere have taken notice. From classroom management methods to assignments to report cards to education applications, emoji have become a preeminent visual learning tool.

Emoji to Express Feelings

Students of all ages, but perhaps particularly young children, benefit from how easy emoji makes it to express emotions. Teachers can use emoji for check-ins- Did you understand the material? How do you feel about the assignment? How was your week? Emoji provide a simple, clear way for students and teachers to communicate what can sometimes be difficult to express in a classroom.

Emoji mood chart shown
Students can select their mood from the emoji chart. 

Teachers have also discovered that emoji are an excellent tool for classroom behavior management. Emoji clip charts, voice level charts, even hall passes and parent reports have benefited from the addition of emoji. Many teachers have created their own original works using JoyPixels emoji that can be purchased on the teacher content-sharing website Teachers Pay Teachers.

Emoji Behavior Clip Chart shown.
Image courtesy of Caffeinated in Third on Teachers Pay Teachers

Emoji Lesson Integration

Educators have found emoji to be a surprising asset when developing critical thinking assignments. Character inferences, story summaries, and emoji flashcard matching are just a few of the ways has used emoji in the classroom. Creative educators have found emoji annotations, original emoji design, emoji rebus stories and more all have a place in the visual learning environment of a school.

"Emojis are easy to use, and judging by the question, “Can we use Emojis?” I get any time we do a project on the iPads, students love them!" - Erin Flanagan
Worksheets, tablet applications, and flashcards using emoji are shown.
Images courtesy of
Emoji tell the story of Harry Potter
Can you figure out what classic story summary is being told here through emoji?

Emoji in Remote Learning

2020 saw the biggest upheaval of education in our generation, with the mass move to remote online learning that took place during the March COVID lockdown. Suddenly, access to textbooks and in-person tools were restricted, and millions of students found their education taking place entirely on the screen in front of them. Teachers have had to find solutions for remote classroom management on a scale never before seen. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and many of the products born out of this crisis will further continue to revolutionize education.

One example of a fantastic new tool for teachers and students is Wonde. Wonde allows users to set up emoji passwords to log in to school applications and even their Chromebooks. This simple system works even the youngest of children, saving valuable classroom time, to the benefit of teachers, students, and parents worldwide. Wonde chose to use JoyPixels emoji when building this incredible new project. had a headstart on the digital learning environment, launching in 2012, and adding JoyPixels emoji in 2018. Flipgrid is a free video discussion platform from Microsoft "that helps educators see and hear from every student in class and foster fun and supportive social learning." From prek to PhD, students can communicate remotely using emoji in their videos.

Flipgrid uses JoyPixels emoji in their educational platform.

Another time-saving tool for digital learning is the JoyPixels Chrome emoji extension. This free emoji keyboard allows users to insert emoji into just about any website with a few simple keystrokes. It is currently the #1 browser extension for Chrome and Opera and a favorite tool of educators everywhere. Learning management systems (LMS) like Canvas and Google Classroom are both compatible with the JoyPixels Chrome extension, making it easy to include emoji in the digital classroom.

The JoyPixels Chrome extension is the #1 browser extension for Chrome!

JoyPixels Delivers Emoji for Teachers

Emoji in education is a natural fit. These icons are the rare communication tool that cuts across all ages, all languages, and all socio-economic barriers, and that can enrich the daily lives of both teachers and students. JoyPixels has had the privilege of working with educators for years on many excellent emoji teaching tools. With low prices for our non-profit premium emoji licenses, as well as flexible custom licenses and free personal emoji licenses, teachers find JoyPixels emoji affordable, accessible, and the top choice for high quality educational emoji. Contact us for more ideas on how you can include emoji in the classroom.

Sarah Neufeld

Sarah Neufeld

Sarah Neufeld heads up the blog, social media, and marketing for JoyPixels.
Colorado USA