Instagram is a simple photo sharing application that can play a very effective role in learning. Pictures speak louder than words, as they say!
One of the benefits to using social media in the classroom is that students may be more engaged in their work when they feel like they have a real audience, meaning someone other than their teachers or parents. Instagram is a social sharing application just like blogging and tweeting, so the audience is definitely there. With approximately 1 million teens ages 13-17 using the camera app in a given month, it shows that they love it.
Although Facebook and Twitter also have photo sharing capabilities, something about the Instagram community and format seems to inspire more creativity. With its retro square format and lo-fi filters, the app makes shooting, editing, and sharing photos easy and fun – and it can help in strengthening education, art, and technology skills at the same time.
But you may be wondering, how can Instagram be educational? Well, you might post a photo to use as a prompt for writing, or record the steps in a science experiment, or take photos of school field trips and events. You can also use the app for tagging activities, storytelling, homework assignments, icebreaking, show-and-tell, and more. Students will have fun sharing their artwork, hobbies, and favorite books with friends and classmates.
It’s important to keep in mind, the same privacy precautions that should be taken on Facebook and Twitter also apply to Instagram. The teacher can create one class account for all of her students to use, and set it to private so only approved followers (parents and other classes) can see the photos.
If you need some ideas on how to get started using Instagram as an educational tool, check out this infographic from Edufar.com:
Are you using Instagram in an educational context? Please tell us about it!