Snapchat in the Classroom

If you've ever asked your students to "stop sending Snaps in class," you may want to reconsider your position. Innovative teachers around the country are finding ways to make Snapchat and other image-based social media platforms educational and fun.

We were inspired by Campbell Union School District's Snapchat activity in our catalog, which instructs teachers to "create [a] Booksnap or Mathsnap using a tool like Snapchat, Google Drawings, Seesaw or PicCollage, plus emojis and other digital stickers, to create a fun analysis or explanations of a piece of text or math problem."

Our first thought was, "that sounds fun!" Our second was, "wait, what?!" Book- and Mathsnaps harness the power of social media to get students engaged in learning, and to encourage reflection. Booksnaps are often used as a reflection tool. Teachers encourage students to snap their progress and thoughts about their reading material, incorporating bitmojis and other stickers to express themselves. The text and drawing features also allow students to highlight interesting paragraphs or quotes.

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Mathsnaps are another versatile Snap-tool. Students can take pictures of math problems at home, then pose questions and send to their peers to form an after-school virtual study group. Or students might create videos explaining how they found a solution to an equation. Or ask students to create math problems using photos they take outside of school: like measuring the angle of a tree, or creating an equation using numbers on the side of a building.

Educator Todd Goudy often shares samples of his Mathsnaps -- check them out on Twitter.

You can also use Snapchats to send class reminders, words of encouragement, or create Snap Stories that capture the day's lesson highlights. If your district doesn't allow device use in the classroom, consider applying the creativity of Booksnaps and Mathsnaps in Google Drawing.

Want to start teaching with Snapchat? Dave Burgess' Ditch That Textbook blog has some great tips on how to set-up an account, decide whether to use stories or add friends, and how to seamlessly integrate Snapchat into your lessons.

Have you used Snapchat in your classroom? Let us know how! @AlludoPlay

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