Classroom Instagram 101….Ramona Badau and Emma Parent
How can social media benefit your classroom?
The reality of our current day and age is that most students will have cell phones and various social media accounts. Rather than allowing these phenomena to become distractions in our classrooms, we wanted to turn them into something useful which allowed us to connect with our students. Our social media platform of choice (as per student preference) was Instagram. Instagram is a popular social media platform with many unique tools and features. Our initial plan was to use our "teacher" Instagram accounts as a way to upload photos of homework assignments or class notes, much like a D2L shell. However, we soon realized that we were not using the platform to its full potential. We began to utilize features such as direct messaging and polls to answer questions, gauge understanding/opinions, and provide important information to our students (during the time they are undoubtedly already spending on their phones)!
Ultimately, our inquiry revolved around three central ideas: building a supportive classroom community, practicing safe digital citizenship, and increasing student engagement.
Ramona and Emma are partner teachers for their internship at a junior high school in Calgary. They are teaching grade 9 humanities and math/science.