Instagram in the classroom

Sorry been ages since i have blogged since dad died in March i just haven’t had any energy to blog! I have been doing some different things this year using tools that engage students so here goes on instagram 🙂

Instagram is a photo sharing app and site where you can comment and share photos. I wanted to use instagram as the students love it but i also wanted to show them how to use it safely and think about the images they post and who might see them. We ensured everyone in the class had their personal accounts on private and had a class discussion about being safe, adding followers, commenting on images, content and context of images too.

I use my instagram account in Geography with year 7 students. The first time I used it the students were doing a compass activity. They had to follow a series of instructions to locate the direction and bearings of different places around the school. At each location students need to take a photo showing the location, direction and bearings and post it on instagram. Along with posting their picture in the photo comments students needed to use the hashtag for the activity #bearings and tag me in each photo by including @humanitiesisawesome just like you would on twitter if you conversing with someone!

Student instructions read “Take a photo to show the location and bearing also include the hashtag #bearings and tag humanitiesisawesome in your photos too 🙂 “

As well as posting the instructions for the activity I also shared an example of what their photo and comment might look like so they understood what was required. Students excitedly made their accounts and ran with the activity. Compass work has never been so much fun!

Our second activity was a scavenger hunt around the school. I posted a series of photos on instagram from around the school which were close ups students needed to locate the images using the photo clue and written clue from the comments. Using the locations discovered they created a proper map with BOLTSS it was a good conclusion to our mapping unit. I was absent from school for this activity caring for dad and mum but from all the feedback, both students and replacement teachers it was a great activity loved by all.

As part of Endangered species unit students had to create a visual diary for their chosen animal. (a redefined activity i will blog about soon 🙂 ) Presentation of the visual diary was up to the students some chose twitter, some pic collage, some puppet pals and some instagram. Students had to create ten diary entries over time to show from the animals point of view what has caused their animal to become endangered. Here are some examples of students diary posts.

How do you go about doing this in your classroom:

You need to download the instagram iPhone app then you will complete the following steps:

Register for an account by clicking on register and fill in the account and profile information – use school email *don’t connect this account to your facebook or mobile phone once you have filled in the information click done

Click next so you skip your facebook friends and contacts

Then click done

If you have students using it for school you need to get them to log out of their personal account and create a school account. In doing this you can give your students a digital footprint message about making their photo’s private so not everyone can see the images the post only those that follow them. ( and only allow people they know personally to follow them and see their content!) I also spoke about the volume of photos, nature of photos and think about your purpose for using the site to!

You make your account private by clicking on the cog or flower in the top right hand corner – under account you can turn on Photos are private. Push notifications settings and sharing settings can also be reviewed to reduce the number of emails you get from instagram.

I had all the students in my class work in groups and create a school account between two or three students – they made all their accounts private and i left mine public so the students could find it easily and i didn’t need to approve each group to view the content of my account.

You can edit your profile now and add a bio or website information if you wish.

Click on the camera to take photos or add them from the camera roll. You are ready to upload an image or images

When you take a photo you can add a filter if you like ( this is what the students love doing!) I usually just click next then you can add a caption to your image and a hashtag to make the photos easier to find.

Ideas for using instagram in the classsroom:

Students can tell a story visually, annotating it through the comment function on each picture.

Photography can be a great place to practice grammatical structures. It can be something as simple as writing a functional text e.g. I had been walking up the hill when…. Or it could be a way to practice the grammatical structure using their world as the context.

Students to explore issues in their world through a visual medium and public comments

Photographs and create writing prompts. This could cover Poetry or Narrative Persuasive, Informational etc. students could develop their own prompts and share them too.

Give students concepts ask them to find a metaphor that fits the concept. They will use Instagram to find the metaphor and then describe it in the comments section.

Document Math that they see in their world. Students could document things like linear relationships, data, fractions.

Take photographs of the spaces they inhabit and then analyze the cultural, political, social and economic elements that define the space.

“A Day in the Life Of” character, location or journey etc Instagram photos. Captions in the comment area with quotations from the novel they are studying or film or in french or indonesian giving written practice too in LOTE

Write and share short photo essays

Any class activity that uses a How to process could benefit from being documented via Instagram. For example, take a photo of each step of an experiment or project and add a caption with instructions for that step.

Art, media and photography classes applications in —composition, lighting, subject matter.

Students can follow directions, complete a scavenger hunt, answer visual prompts, showcase work that involves images and a little text.

Do you have an idea of how you might use instagram in your classroom? Please share it the more ideas the better 🙂

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