Friday, February 8, 2013

Instgram Events

Perusing Pinterest, as I am obsessively prone to do, I discovered a wedding pin.  Now, I have no need to think about and/or plan a weeding, so my mind tends to wander towards other things to do with these wedding ideas.  This is not the first time I've seen this pin, but it is the first time I thought about how to use it in a classroom or school. 
  • Having an event in school?  Concert, play, or sporting event?  Encourage visitors (parents) to snap pictures and share them with a hashtag (#) of the school's choosing.  Once upon a time my kiddos put on poetry slams, plays, culture fairs, and more.  The number of cameras in the room would put government surveillance to shame.  Those who forgot their camera, or were unable to attend were always looking for ways to memorialize the event.  Think about how perfect it would be for parents to go to that hashtag and to be a part of that memorable moment!
  •  Bring kiddos on a nature walk; encouraging them to take pictures to share to this hashtag.  Just this past weekend I was remembering how I used to bring my kiddos on guided nature walks for a variety of purposes (reading, writing, science, or social studies).  This would have been a great opportunity for my kiddos to take pictures of things they saw in nature that related to adaptations and Instagram them with a hashtag. This would provide a lot of opportunity for conversation about the concept of adaptation while walking.
  • Get kiddos engaged in a scavenger hunt.  This could happen one of two ways.  One way could be you, the teacher, providing them pictures as clues to solve; almost like a WebQuest.  Another way is to send them on the scavenger hunt, take pictures of the clues they discover and their interpretations with a provided hashtag.
  • Have kiddos collaboratively critical think.  A friend of mine, who teaches middle school science does this with another tech tool.  He sets up scenarios for his kiddos to analyze; one group take pictures while another analyzes the photos to make inferences.  This would be a great way for those inferring to work in partnerships. 
  • Are kiddos working on a big project-based experience?  Have them take pictures and use the designated hashtag.  This would be a great way to create a live scrapbook of the experience as well as inviting kiddos to demonstrate their learning process.
  • Portfolios are a great way to catalog and record any child's learning process.  Assign each kiddo a hashtag and share their learning experiences through that hashtag.  Their peers could provide them feedback and their friends and family can see what they are doing at any time.
Another thing that is also fantabulous is that Twitter uses hashtags as well.  So, you do not have to limit kiddos to sharing  only through Instagram.  They can use the same hashtag to seamlessely share between social networks, or choose the one they'd like to use.  As always, keep kiddos safe.  Especially when school employees are not the ones taking the pictures.  I'll write more about that lter :).

Has anyone used Instagram in their classroom in any of these ways or other ways?