Instagram is a hugely popular social network for photo sharing. Though the use of social media in the classroom may have skyrocketed, Twitter and Facebook definitely reign supreme as the key social media tools for schools and teachers. Somehow, despite the widespread popularity of Instagram, few teachers are employing it in the classroom.
We’ve heard from a few of you that your concerns lie in the privacy arena. Since sharing photos that may be of students in your classroom should obviously be a concern – make sure your classroom account is private. You can choose to have a single account for your class, which would be the ‘safest’ way of approaching these privacy concerns. The teacher should be the only one who can vet followers – and they should only be associated with the class (parents, students, other classes in your school). Using a group hashtag for a particular project or theme is a good way to keep track of what they’re doing, eg: #edudemicclassproject14.
The handy infographic below takes a look at ten different ways you can put Instagram to use in your classroom. Have you used it in other ways? Share with the Edudemic community by leaving a comment below, mentioning @Edudemic on Twitter or leaving your thoughts on our Facebook page.
- Student Work Showcase: Take photos of student work and showcase for your network to see. Have your students’ parents follow along, or engage with another classroom in your school to share work.
- Student of the Week: Feature a different student in your class each week. The student can have an ‘intro’ post with a photo of themselves, and then snap photos throughout the week to share with the class. Make sure you have guidelines for the students so that the content they’re photographing is “clean” and school-appropriate.
- Class Memories: If your class takes a field trip, offers a concert or other production, or celebrates a milestone event, photograph it to remember!
- Historical Figures: Imagine how a famous historical figure would use Instagram. Have the students research a person and create what their Instagram feed would look like if it existed during their time. As an example, JFK might have posted photos of his kids, wife, boat, and places he traveled on State business.
- Literary Characters: Have the students imagine how a relevant literary characters would use Instagram. What sort of photos would Jane Eyre or Sherlock Holmes be posting?
- Reading Recommendations: Students can post photos of books they enjoyed reading for their classmates to explore.
- Step-by-Step: This will work especially well for science projects, but is applicable in other areas too. Have students document a step by step process for a project they’re working on, with a description of that step in the caption.
- Scavenger Hunt: Challenge your students to find specific things or types of things in the world around them. This activity can be adapted for nearly any subject matter, which makes it an excellent activity for all age levels and classes.
- Writing Ideas: Take photos that can be used as prompts for creative writing – such as a For Sale sign, an empty room, a busy train, etc.
- Document Progress: Snap photos of students’ work at intervals during the year.