Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Snapchat In Education: I'm Using It; You Should, Too!

I'll admit it!

Snapchat was not my thing.  In fact, I know the very time and place I was TURNED OFF to Snapchat.

November 2013.

Pulaski High School Library.

A student (who shall remain nameless) stuck his finger up his nose, "snapped" a picture and sent it to a friend via the Snapchat app.

Immediately, I was not a fan.  I even "warned teachers" about the use of the app!

Fast forward three years, and I have found many uses, including but not limited to Spring Break!

I had been using Twitter for communicating with athletes, Instagram for sending images of team accomplishments, but truthfully, athletes weren't engaged.  I heard about all of the research.  Students are leaving Twitter and Facebook in droves for the more "personal" social media tools.  Always wanting to connect with students and meet them where they are at, I found a way to communicate with them.


I am able to see students' stories which allows me to have a connection with them.   For me, coaching athletes and connecting with them in a positive way is a continued need to build team unity!  I have challenged football players to "check in" everyday with "how they got better"! It's working!

I'm not the first educator to utilize the powers of Snapchat.

Michael Britt, adjunct professor at Marist College in upstate New York, uses it to provide real life situations his students are studying. He states, "The best way to learn new material is to try to personalize it."  He does this by creating "snaps" of concepts that pertain directly to items he sees in life.

While Mr. Anderson is not specifically using Snapchat, he is allowing one of his students to utilize Snapchat's drawing and text features to quickly annotate images in Anatomy & Kinesiology.

Even further, I see multiple businesses using Snapchat! (Over 10 Billion Videos A Day!)  They know where the customers are at.  Sports teams, especially Major League Baseball, recently had a "Snapchat Day". The entire day was devoted to Snapchat stories that gave tremendous behind the scenes action and drew me in closer to the team, especially my Dodgers!

Snapchat updates stickers 5-24-16

Examples of Snapchat uses in education:
  • Sociology group dynamics - attaching terms to items viewed in local or global society 
  • Psychology - attaching terms and concepts to visuals that students can view
  • Mathematical concepts found in the world
  • Chemistry definitions that can be found in the world
  • Global Issues that can be found in geographical location of a high school
  • Civics definitions that are found while experiencing everyday situations
  • English - pointing out grammatical errors found in advertisements, news stories, and more
  • Motivational quotes and challenges for athletes
  • Reminders of upcoming opportunities for learning
  • Biology terms and real pictures of the objects
  • Environmental Science - sharing real world concepts!
Steps for connecting students to an educator.
  • Create an account after downloading the app on iOS or Android
  • Be sure to choose a name in which students or athletes will recognize you/your classroom
  • Get the settings to represent what you want.
  • Share your Snapchat handle in class
  • Start snapping
  • Talk with students about Digital Citizenship.  Sending inappropriate snaps can and will get you in trouble.  Even if the snaps go away, these images are present forever.  Explain to students that sending inappropriate snaps will get them blocked from classroom/athletic material.

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