Instagram Builds Classroom Community in 5th grade
Type of Technology: Social Media
SAMR Model Rating: Augmentation
Grade Level: K-12
Subject Area: All
We all know that Social Media has started to take over all of our screens, and really our lives, as we know it. We see Tweets, Facebook, and Instagram posts even on our nightly news. With that being said, this means that our students are constantly checking in. Whether it be with each other or famous celebrities, students want to know what is happening.
My colleague and I decided to take this as an opportunity to “check in” with them even more than we do on a daily basis. At the beginning of last year, we created an Instagram account for students and parents to follow. We asked parent permission, and began posting pictures from different events. We started with simple in-school projects we were working on, and then we expanded it to class trips and special awards that students’ were receiving. It has been amazing to see the encouraging words that they post about each other. They lift each other up and then support one another.
Have we had negative comments? Yes at times we have, but we have used them as opportunities to teach about appropriate internet safety within the classroom. We have shared stories with our students about how posting one little comment can lead to something detrimental.
It has created a community of 70+ fifth graders that really love to see what has been happening in and outside of the classroom. It allows for opportunities of reflection and questioning as well. It almost serves as a miniature blog. The cool thing is that students’ from previous years still follow the account and comment on things they remember about their year in fifth grade. We hope to continue this account for many years to come and highlight the successes of our children.
I encourage each of you to try it… even if it is just one post a week because they so look forward to it! Any way that we can find opportunities to “check in” outside of school is one step closer to building that classroom community that we all work so hard at!