Teaching with Instagram: 20+ Ideas & Resources

In the Mobile Learning category

The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera. – Yousuf Karsh

Every day people share the stories of their lives through images and short video clips on Instagram. We heart them and comment on them. Instagram is the social network for us to visually share what is important to us and many of our students and their parents visit Instagram daily. We can use this popular free mobile app and social network to engage our students and get them to connect with our subject matter. With Instagram you can have unlimited image and video uploads, edit and filter images and videos, create 15 second videos, and also use it with your Android or IOS devices. You can tag others, use hashtags, geotag your uploads, and post to other social networks. Your students can also turn in images to you via direct upload. Find out more in my recorded webinar and the slide presentation below. I have also listed resources to help you teach with Instagram. Remember, your students need to be 13 years-old and up to have an account.

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20+ Resources & Ideas

  • Set-up a class account that you can make private for parents and students. You can post their class work, homework, assignments, important announcements, images from their games/ events/ ceremonies, and more.
  • Post regular challenges for each unit or chapter. Students can upload  images that meet those challenges. A few ideas are listed in the slide presentation.
  • You can post image challenges for students to show you they understand the material. For example, math students can post an image showing a fraction then create a word problem inspired by the image.
  • You can post video challenges. For example, for science, students can post a video example of a substance changing states of matter like water boiling or fog. In the video, students narrate what is taking place.
  • Post an image and have students create poetry or haikus inspired by the image.
  • You can use images as writing prompts for your students.
  • Post an image. Have students participate in a chain story inspired by the image. The first student begins in the comment section, then the next student continues in the next comment and so forth.
  • InstaCC is a free app that shares Instagram challenges and you can create calendars with your images. You can grab challenge ideas from this app.
  • Integrate other apps with Instagram to make it do more. With PicCollage IOS/Android App, Image Chef IOS App, and the  You Doodle IOS app you can add text to images, create collages, add word clouds, and much more.
  • Post a collage and have students create a 6 word, 10 word, or 20 word story.
  • Post a collage about the topic you are studying and have students make guesses about the subject matter.
  • Post a collage of images from the chapter or sections of text from the chapter and have students find these images within the chapter and describe what information they discovered.
  • If you are studying a country, post a collage of various characteristics of that place then have students guess what this country could be and add a fact or image about that place.
  • If you do Mystery Skypes or Hangouts, post clues via a collage versus just text. This way students can engage visually with the location.
  • Post a collage of a guest speaker’s background and have each student add a question inspired by these images.
  • Have students post their own collages of what they observe. They can take several photos of an animal in its habitat then post the collage with their observations.
  • Students can post a collage of various close-up pieces of an image. Their friends try to figure out what the image is and post a fact or question about it.
  • Have students act like photojournalists where they observe an event and describe it in a series of images within their collages.
  • Post clues to a mystery or post clues to a scavenger hunt.
  • Get students interested in your topic by doing a video as one of the characters that introduces the topic.
  • Have students role-play a character from their readings.
  • Students can do video commentaries.
  • Students can do book trailers. Here are examples from Larry Ferlazzo’s students.
  • Students can host a regular video cast with class announcements. Assign different students to do the video cast each day. Parents and students can tune in for 15 seconds.
  • If you post Word Clouds on Instagram, then here are 50 other ideas  http://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/teaching-with-word-cloud-tools

Other Resources


Try Instagram to engage learners and their parents and let us know how they respond.

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