*This article initially appeared in the Teaching Professor on February 25, 2019. © Magna Publications. All legal rights reserved.
Snapchat is a online video/image-sharing application that has develop into approximately ubiquitous with young men and women because of to a pair of special features. One particular, the shared content material automatically disappears right after a set time. A shared Snap (a one impression or movie) goes absent right after being considered by the receiver, even though a Story (a collection of photos or video clips) disappears following 24 hrs. Second, it enables customers to include cartoon visuals to the material, these types of as the bunny noses that you see reposted on Facebook. It also has filters for transforming the shade and other features of shared images, captioning, and texting options.
I preferred to see how interaction in my course could be improved by leveraging a social media app that students ended up currently employing. Specially, I experienced 4 targets in intellect:
- Make improvements to teacher presence.
- Engage and hook up college students outside the house of the class internet site to establish neighborhood and persuade the growth of friendships that could possibly lengthen past graduation.
- Handle usually asked occupation-connected issues, which appear up often, but are not element of the curriculum.
- Investigate the probable use of a new social media platform in on line schooling as a qualified growth activity, transferring us all out of our consolation zones.
Participation was voluntary, so I was careful to not put up any details about the study course via Snapchat that was not also accessible in the LMS. No graded assignments required the use of Snapchat. I in essence invited students to use Snapchat as they wished to see what would take place.
Here are the actions I followed to get the course began with Snapchat:
- Program announcement. At the beginning of week two, I invited college students to take part in what I regarded as would be a social media and interaction experience. I furnished a website link to additional facts and emphasised that participation was completely voluntary.
- Student guide. I shared a Google Doc that explained my objectives for the undertaking, what learners could hope every single week, how to get begun with Snapchat, and how to connect with me on the Snapchat system.
- Exercise scheduling matrix. Mapping out the training course modules, I designed a plan for when and what I would “Snap” or share every week: Mondays – typical announcements, Thursdays – assignment reminders, Friday – vocation suggestions.
Numerous makes use of
A little range of pupils joined my Snapchat journey, but I was confused by the diverse strategies these learners applied the application to converse. Right here are just a few illustrations of the conversation we seasoned via Snapchat:
- Assignment clarification. A student snapped a photograph of assignment directions on her pc display with the question: “It states there is a checklist for the peer testimonials. The place can I discover that?” Nicely, there was not a “checklist,” so I was able to rapidly react and immediate her to a rubric, and then alter the wording in the assignment to strengthen the recommendations for everybody.
- Building connections. I eventually additional a Saturday Snap to my program, sharing little specifics about my travel, hobbies, etcetera. Just after sharing a Snap that showed lengthy-awaited excellent climate, a college student replied utilizing the chat software to say, “Looks calming. My son had a band concert tonight that was quite fantastic.” On one more Saturday I shared a screenshot of my grading interface (no private facts obvious) with the caption, “Rainy times are excellent for catching up with grading … and potentially a good deal of e mail.” A college student replied “I’m performing the exact nowadays … lesson plans and ending grading. Development reports go dwelling this week.”
- Bitmoji integration. I quickly understood that it is straightforward to use Bitmoji with Snapchat. Bitmoji is an application that will allow you to create a personalized cartoon avatar of by yourself. This increased the knowledge as my students and I communicated with Snaps and chat messages employing our Bitmojis to specific ideas and emotions. I puzzled if the use of avatars would enable learners get snug expressing on their own to other individuals and I located that it did look to support us get to know each individual other a small better.
I deployed two surveys all through the last week of lessons. Of the pupils that participated, 50 percent had not tried using Snapchat prior to the class commenced. All of them observed the Monday bulletins, Thursday reminders, and Friday vocation suggestions “useful,” although 50 percent discovered the Saturday posts “useful” and “fun.”
I also questioned this group to weigh in on my targets. Absolutely everyone agreed that I was capable to enhance my teacher presence in the system, when 50 percent stated that my Snapchat use impacted their engagement and tackled applicable job subject areas.
Foreseeable future uses
As my consolation stage with Snapchat grows, I will be giving more significant options for college students to interact using the app. For instance, as soon as I understood you could increase an attachment to a Snap, a host of sharing alternatives opened up (e.g., sharing the study url via a Snap). It would also be fascinating to tie Snapchat into an assignment. Students could, for example, submit an write-up critique by way of a narrative sequence of photos and movies as a Snapchat Story, in its place of a paper or presentation.
If you are intrigued in striving Snapchat in your classes, do not be concerned to share your newness with making use of the application with your college students. Students are extra inclined to enable you master about the application. It also helps to have a “buddy” in the approach. Come across a colleague who is intrigued in hoping a little something new with you and share your successes, failures, confusion, and discoveries alongside the way. Stepping out of my convenience zone never ever seems to get much easier, but just about normally proves to be worth the effort and hard work.
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Melissa A. Venable teaches instructional style and job management at the University of South Florida and Saint Leo College.