The Hugely Popular* Video, Image, and Text Chat tool is Gradually Finding a Place in our Classrooms
*The third most popular social media platform (behind Facebook and Instagram), with popularity driven by the younger demographic, as 60% of Snapchat users are under 25, and 85% under 35, according to some sources.
Those of us who pay attention to technology trends, or those that teach kids, or those that have kids, have been hearing about Snapchat for years. Many of us didn't a lot of attention to it for quite a while, since technology comes and goes and it can be hard to predict which tools and apps are going to become blockbusters and which will go the way of the Blackberry and MySpace.
Well, Snapchat appears is clearly here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. With over a 100 million active users per day and an average of 9,000 Snaps sent every second, it is a major player in the social media world.
So why should educators care? For one things, the kids obviously care. There is something to be said for being where they are if we want to reach them. But here are a few other good reasons, based on my experience using the platform on a personal level for a year or so, and more recently, as another means to share edtech resources, tools, and ideas with other educators:
- It's pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it
- It's a great way to provide quick insights, resources, etc., in various formats
- It's unique – what other platform let's you share text, images, and video, in short chunks like this
- The content is quick (= convenient) to consume
- It's kind of fun!
How are Other Educators Using Snapchat?
This weekend, I scrolled the Web to read what others have written about Snapchatting for the sake of teaching and learning. Here are some of the many articles I came across.
Teachers Are Starting to Use Snapchat. Should You?
Jacquie Lee writes about instructor Michael Britt and how he is using Snapchat in his introductory psychology course at Marist College. Britt takes “snaps” of real-life examples of what he is teaching about and sends them out right before exams, so students see them while studying. According to the article, “About 90 percent of his students look at and use his Snapchats to study, he estimates. So, it makes it easy for Britt to push a little knowledge his students' way when they're not in class.” Both Britt and several students interviewed felt that this helped to reinforce what they were learning.
The Complete Guide to Snapchat for Teachers and Parents
“AJ” Juliani is the Director of Technology & Innovation for Centennial School District and I suspect that this guide that he has written is a quite popular and highly trafficked article. He's received a lot of appreciative comments. He provides an overview, tips for configuration and general use, and a few ideas for classroom use.
15 ways to use Snapchat in classes and schools
The folks at “Ditch That Textbook” share 15 good ideas for using Snapchat in the teaching and learning setting, after providing some insights and things to think about as you head down this path.
5 Ways to Use Snapchat as A Teaching and Learning Tool in Higher Education
Stockton University Public Relations Professor Ai Zhang writes about ways that Snapchat can “humanize you as a teacher (this is one of my favorite things about Snapchat – it makes me feel like I can be more “me” than a formal blog post or YouTube video – KW), and to “brand” a given course.
Snapchat and Education
George Couros is a respected educator with his pulse on edtech, and he was ahead of the curve on this, as he wrote this piece back in 2014. Couros nailed one of the appealing things about the app, “If you know a picture will disappear (and I know you can screen capture it) are you more willing to share a “true” moment as opposed to the “perfect” moment we often share on Instagram (which is put up on your wall until you take it down)?”
So what are you waiting for? Start exploring Snapchat today. And here's a little tip: just like I needed my daughter to help me find my way around, you may want to find a young person to help you find your feet with this app.
Add “emergingedtech” on Snapchat today!