While it may not seem like it at first, there are many applications for Instagram in the classroom.
Of course, it’s important to protect students’ privacy, especially when using a public channel like Instagram. If you’re interested in trying any of the ideas below, we recommend creating a classroom account that you set to “private” and carefully vetting any potential followers.
- Showcase students’ work. Snap pictures of students’ essays and other projects to share on a private Instagram account.
- Feature a student of the week. Invite students to alternate “taking over” your classroom Instagram account and sharing photos from their daily lives. Then have the featured student share his or her photos with the class.
- Capture field trip memories. Invite a student volunteer “archivist” to take photos on your field trips or during class parties and share them on your Instagram account.
- Imagine how a famous person in history would use Instagram. Have students browse historical photos and create a bulletin board or poster display showing Abraham Lincoln’s or Buzz Aldrin’s Instagram feed.
- Meal time! For beginner students, ask them to post pictures of their meals and name the food that they are eating.This one also works well with the weather.
- Share reading recommendations. Invite students to snap photos of their favorite books and then browse the photos in your feed for more ideas on what to read.
- Word of the week. Post a picture of a word or of an object or action and ask students to comment writing sentences with it.
- Go on an ABC scavenger hunt.Challenge students to find print in the world around them—on signs, packaging and in the mail.
- Discover ideas for writing. Tap an “inspiration fairy” to take ten photos that could serve as a prompt for writing—an empty bird’s nest, a For Sale sign and a broken doll, for instance.
- Document student progress. Snap photos of student’s writing at the beginning and end of the year. Order inexpensive prints from sites such as Prinstagr.am to show students how far they have come!
What do you think, teachers? Would you or have you used Instagram in the classroom? How so?