Back in November, I shared with you why I got hooked to using Instagram for the classroom. It was the immediate connection into other people’s classrooms that I so quickly latched on to in this minimalist-text, visual-heavy, world of ours. I confess, I am one of millions of people who now cannot stand to read something for more than a few minutes. And it’s not that I don’t enjoy reading! I just feel so busy. And somehow, my brain feels like it is accomplishing so much more when I’ve glanced at 10-20 classroom photos of new strategies and ideas to try, rather than ingesting 3 pages of writing about a few new educational buzzwords.
What to Post
Instead of a classroom newsletter, try to post 1-3 photos of what’s happening in your classroom (or in your teacher life) per week. If you’re feeling nervous about student photos—no worries! It’s totally not necessary to post pictures of your students (and your various districts might have policies in place against such a thing anyway).
I find the most helpful posts are small doses of text (try the free app Phonto):
Quick snapshots of teaching strategies:
Multiple photos of student work (the little white squares indicate that the user has posted more than 1 photo here! Post a student’s drafts from beginning to end!)
Modes of Posting
Have you been using any Story features on your social media? Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram all feature ways of taking live videos of what’s happening right then and there. Record a classroom Insta-Story to keep parents in the know about what literacy centers looks like! The video or “story” will be available for viewing for 24 hours and then will be automatically deleted.
Videos offer you a chance to give parents & other teacher followers messages directly…whether it’s about how to write quick and easy sub plans, or telling your community about an upcoming pep assembly.
Try Boomerang or Hyperlapse to capture an activity or school event, like an assembly.
And Swipeable is an easy way to capture those whole-room panoramas to Instagram.
Or LiPix for a class collage.
Play Smarter, Not Harder
If daily social media time is not a part of your routine, guess what? There’s an app for that! Try WhenToPost to see when your followers are most likely to see your post, or HootSuite to schedule those posts a week or more out.
If you aren’t already experimenting with a classroom Instagram, try it out! Those connections between you and any other human trying to educate little minds are waiting to be made. Modeling social media use in safe, valid, and entertaining ways is something that anyone can do. Validating kids’ knowledge and showing that their work and classroom life is worth sharing adds to that culturally responsive classroom you’ve been working hard to create. Don’t forget to follow the wonderful teachers featured in this post for some excellent examples of what to do with your classroom Instagram!
My dog also has an Instagram, and it's better than anyone's. @mrdarcy_theiggy
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