Instagram in the Kindergarten Classroom
I have recently added the use of Instagram into my classroom as a tool for my kids to independently choose to publish their work onto the blog. On our class blog's sidebar I put in a slideshow widget for all the photos we take using Instagram. Why Instagram? Firstly, it's simple! Secondly, many of the kids are already familiar with it because mom or dad has it at home on their device(s). I could have taught the kids how to post photos directly onto our blog using the Wordpress app, however, I didn't want an entire post being taken up whenever the kids wanted to post a photo of something they created without an explanation. Thus, my choice to use Instagram. How do I use it in the classroom? Instagram is NOT loaded into the student iPads and is only on my teacher iPad. So whenever they want to take a picture they have to come to me, explain to me what they want to take a picture of and justify why (connect it to our learning). I do have them show me the picture before they publish it and they also tell me what the caption should say. It allows them to publish their learning to the world more independently and they can go home and have a picture on the blog as a talking point to discuss their learning with their parents. More often than not, the children ask to take pictures of things they built or created during choice time. This is a wonderful time to allow the use of Instagram because the work they are documenting is work they created independently that demonstrates concepts and ideas they have learned in school. In a way it acts as authentic assessment for me too!
If you would like to follow our class on Instagram we are: @msakinders