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Instagram in the Classroom

Instagram in the Classroom

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Best practices, tips and ideas for educators using Instagram in the classroom.
Best practices, tips and ideas for educators using Instagram in the classroom.

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Published by: Facebook for Educators on Jul 02, 2013
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05/14/2014

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Introducing Instagram

Today’s students have grown up surrounded with digital, social and mobile technologies, and as a result, they have developed new ways of understanding, learning and processing information. As social media continues to evolve, teachers will need to find new and innovative ways to harness the power of these technologies to enhance their curriculum, and support differing learning styles. Instagram holds great potential as part of a multi-faceted approach that blends learning theory, mobile and social technologies in the curriculum. Instagram, owned by Facebook, is a mobile app focused on photography that enables users to take pictures and short video clips, use various photography filters, hashtags, geotags and share them with friends. Not only is the Instagram user interface intuitive, visually clean, and easy to use, it also supports constructivist-based learning. Social networking technologies like Instagram can be used as an educational technology tool to help support student learning, both in and outside of the classroom. To be clear, Instagram and other social media tool can’t, and shouldn’t, replace face-to-face communication between teachers and students; rather it should be used as one of many digital building blocks that, when skillfully integrated into the curriculum has the potential to open lines of dialogue, communication, and learning.

Instagram Best Practices for Educators
In an educational setting we believe that interaction between students and teachers should be open, transparent and secure. That’s why we recommend that you create a public Instagram account to interact with students. Creating a public Instagram account will allow you to communicate with students, parents and school administrators in an open and transparent manner. If you choose to create a ‘Private’ Instagram account and follow students, be sure to include an administrator, parent or other teacher so that there is at least some transparency on your group activities. Learn more about privacy on Instagram.

Learn  More  at  www.FacebookForEducators.org  

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Instagram + Hashtags
Hashtags turn topics and phrases into clickable links in your photo posts and help people find posts about topics they’re interested in. You can use hashtags on Instagram to: • To create a hashtag, write # (the number sign) along with a topic or phrase written as one word and add it to your post (ex: #edchat shows you the photos and videos taken by other educators). Create a layer of transparency for teachers who are incorporating Instagram into their classroom practice.

Think about the different ways you can use hashtags on Instagram with your students.

Learn  More  at  www.FacebookForEducators.org  

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How to Use Instagram in the Classroom

An English teacher travels to a local history site and uploads her pictures to Instagram. The photographs provide her students’ with visual context and imagery for the places discussed by in the curriculum. This example could work equally as well in the history, science, or foreign language classroom, and allows the student to make asynchronous connections to the content being taught in the classroom. After a field trip to a living history museum, student groups write a summary of their trip in a blog and use Instagram to illustrate their report. They are able to augment their own photos with relevant images found by searching tags in the global Instagram community archives. As they work on the project they are simultaneously developing writing, technology, photography, as most importantly collaborative learning skills. A student in a historic preservation takes a walking tour of a historic district and takes photographs of various architectural elements. The student also uses hashtags to identify the various architectural elements in the structure. He later uses them as a reference resource for his coursework or research paper. A foreign language teacher posts pictures from her travels in France, and provides descriptions of the local color, landscape, and architecture. Students are also able to practice their burgeoning language skills by leaving comments and notes on photographs in French, thereby putting their use of language in a situated context. Students form a private group in Instagram, search the global archives for photos tagged “France”, “Eiffel Tower”, or “Paris” and then discuss (in French) interesting or relevant photographs. Students and instructors can post comments below each individual photograph. In both instances, students are constructing new knowledge, while at the same time building and deepening human relationships with the members within their learning community. One great idea is to create a unique hashtag for your classroom, school or class project and have students tag their work with it so both you, parents and other students can find it!

Get the Official Facebook for Educators Guide
The Facebook for Educators Guide is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and German. We invite you to join the conversation and share your best practices for using social media in the classroom with educators from around the world on our Facebook for Educators Page (http://www.facebook.com/FBforEducators). You can find more free handouts, resources and profession development materials on our Scribd page (http://www.scribd.com/collections/2978485/Facebook-101).
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Learn  More  at  www.FacebookForEducators.org  

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