10 Surprising Ways to Use Instagram in the Classroom

Legitimate excuses for your Insta-addiction.

It’s not just the tweens and teens that are addicted to Instagram, it’s the teachers too! So instead of scrolling through your celebrity crush’s feed, we’ve rounded up some legitimate, educational ways you can use Instagram in the classroom.

Of course, it’s important to protect students’ privacy, especially when using a public channel like Instagram. If you’re interested in trying any of the ideas below, we recommend creating a classroom account that you set to “private” and carefully vetting any potential followers. You might also try adapting our suggestions to an educational social media platform such as Edmodo. Finally, be sure to check your school’s technology policies before you begin.

OK, disclaimer over! Here are 10 awesome ways you can use Instagram in the classroom.

1. Showcase Student Work

Snap pictures of students’ artwork and other special projects to share on a private Instagram account only accessible to families and others in your school community.

 

2. Feature a Student of the Week

Invite students to alternate taking over your classroom Instagram account and sharing photos from their daily lives. Then have the featured student talk about his or her daily routine and artistic vision with the class.

 

3. Capture Field Trip Memories

Invite a student volunteer to be “archivist” and take photos on your field trips or during class parties for your class Instagram account.

 

4. Imagine How a Historical Figure Would Use Instagram

Have student browse historical photos and create a bulletin board or poster display showing Abraham Lincoln’s or Buzz Aldrin’s Instagram feed.

 

5. Imagine What a Favorite Character Would Post

Challenge students to find photos that would appear in Harry Potter’s or Katniss Everdeen’s Instagram.

 

6. Share Reading Recommendations

Invite students to snap photos of their favorite books with a description of why they love it in the caption. You and your students can browse the photos to get more inspiration on what to read, and even develop your own hashtag.

 

7. Record Steps in a Science Experiment

Watch as a plant unfurls or a chemical compound slowly changes colors—and preserve the experiment on Instagram.

 

8. Go on an ABC Scavenger Hunt

Challenge kids to find print in the world around them—on signs, packaging, or in the mail—and share their found letter of the day.

 

9. Discover Ideas for Writing

Tap an “inspiration fairy” to take 10 photos that could serve as a prompt for writing—an empty bird’s nest, a For Sale sign, or a broken doll, for instance.

 

10. Document Student Progress

Snap photos of students’ writing at the beginning and the end of the year. Order inexpensive prints from sites like Social Print Studio, to show your students their progress and provide an end-of-year gift!

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What do you think, teachers? Would you or have you used Instagram in the classroom? How so?

Hannah Hudson

Posted by Hannah Hudson

Hannah Hudson is the editorial director of WeAreTeachers. You can follow her on Twitter at @hannahthudson or on Facebook here. Email her at hannah@weareteachers.com.