Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Capture the Moment with Instagram

If a picture is worth a 1000 words, as a former middle school teacher, I wonder, do most middle schoolers share that many words with their parents about what happened at school?  What if more educators shared images of learning in their classroom? This is what makes the social media outlet, Instagram, such an important tool to allow a window into the school environment.  Instagram is an app that allows you to share photos in an instant.  It makes it a great platform for educators to capture and share moments quickly in the fast-paced school environment.

Starting this school year, you can follow @solonmiddleschool to get a glimpse into life at Solon Middle School.  Principal Mike Herdliska started the account not only to allow a window into the school, but also to capture the students using the social media outlet that is relevant to them.  

The important thing to note, especially with this age group, is that a big part of the use of social media with a school is to model appropriate social media use for students.  As Principal Herdliska notes, “It’s important for students to see social media as a way to share what you want, it’s not about the amount of likes that you get.”  His overall goal is to celebrate the unique nature of the middle school students that make up the culture of the school, not to promote social media.  Instagram is often the preferred social media outlet for middle schoolers, many students are already using it, so this is an opportunity to promote positive social media usage.

If you are looking at sharing great things happening in your classroom, the ease of using Instagram is very appealing.  You can either choose a photo from your camera roll or snap a photo or short video right in the app, add a fun filter and description and you’re done!  

Principal Herdliska shared some great Instagram Tips:

  • Just get started.  It’s easy to jump into Instagram because it is so fast to share out and capture special learning moments to share your class culture.  It takes only three clicks to upload a photo to Instagram.
  • Find Your Style. Once you begin, you’ll realize what works best into the flow of your class.  Maybe you’ll choose to capture students at work, special events in the classroom, or maybe you’ll just choose one day of the week to upload photos.  You have to figure out what works best for you.
  • It’s free advertising!  It’s a great way to celebrate the awesome things that are happening in your classroom.  Let your students & parents know what your Instagram handle is and how you are using Instagram through email or newsletters to allow build awareness about how you are using social media with your students.

-Contribution from Amber Bridge, Grant Wood AEA Technology Consultant. Want to share what is going on in your class or collaborate on a technology project? Feel free to contact me.

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