Instagram is a social media platform that is continuing to gain momentum. According to Wordstream, there are 800 million people on Instagram, and a third of the users are teenagers. If you have not begun harnessing the power of Instagram for your classroom, you need to consider it. Teachers across the world are finding ways to use Instagram to engage with their students and their parents.
If you follow your school’s internet and social media policies, Instagram can be a fun and safe social media tool for you and your students. The first thing you want to do, as a teacher, is to create a separate, private classroom account. This account should only be used for class-related things and only followed by students and their parents. Once you get your Instagram classroom account, you can get busy searching related #hashtags and posting images right away.
Find Awesome Ideas
The most obvious way for teachers to use Instagram is to find ideas. There are so many teacher accounts and educational accounts that provide ideas for everything from bulletin boards to science projects. Begin by searching #teachersofinstagram and then follow where the hashtag leads you.
Show Student Work
Instagram is also the perfect place to show off student work and give your students some extra affirmation. Remember how teachers use to hang up award-winning projects? Now, you just take pictures of their completed projects and post them on the classroom account.
Your class is never boring, so remind your students and show their parents all the fun you are having on a regular basis by posting pictures. If the students complete a cool activity or go on a field trip, you can use Instagram to capture these memories.
Create Unique Projects
Social media is the language of this generation, so embrace it when it comes to lesson planning. For example, help your students embrace literary characters by trying to imagine the character’s Instagram feed. Who would be their followers? What pictures would they post? What hashtags would they use?
Teachers can also use Instagram to help students. You can post homework and project reminders, as well as post picture-by-picture tutorials. Instagram is also a great way to encourage classroom discussion through the comments section and a way for students ask for the help they need.
Finally, teachers must teach digital citizenship, but it is much easier to learn when the lesson is applicable. By explaining how Instagram should and should not be used, you are teaching students the skills they need to be responsible digital citizens.
The opinions expressed in Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12 are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.