Instead of struggling to stop your students from using Snapchat during class, how about encouraging them? We all know just how popular the social media platform is with the younger generations. In fact, a large proportion of Snapchat users are yet to graduate from high school. So how about harnessing this engagement for your educational ends by incorporating Snapchat into a lesson plan?
Firstly, for the uninitiated, what is Snapchat? Snapchat is one of the newest social media platforms. When parents and teachers started joining Facebook, their children and students flocked to this new network. It was a place to chat and communicate free from the watchful eye of older generations.
Snapchat allows users to send a ten second video to someone else. Once viewed, this video then disappears. More recently, Snapchat users have been able to add these mini-videos into a daily “story”. This story will last for 24 hours before also disappearing. It’s mainly used as a quick, low-budget and ephemeral way to document a person’s daily life experiences. But it can also be put to great use in the classroom.
Here are six Snapchat projects to get your students excited, engaged and, most importantly, learning:
1.) Be Journalists for The Day
Whether you’re at school or off on a field trip, ask your students to be journalists for the day. You could split them into groups, asking them to cover a different topic and document their findings. They could talk to camera, conduct interviews or annotate an image (this is another excellent Snapchat feature). Using Snapchat they can create a story of videos, each of which will reveal a little more about their assigned topic.
2.) Short Video Stories
Part creative writing, part video media project, get your students to plan a short filmed story. They’ll need to put some thought into how they want to present their mini-film. Maybe they could produce a storyboard first or a written narration. Then get them to create their video from the plans before showing it off to the rest of the class.
3.) Real World Examples
This is great project for a science class. If you’ve been discussing gravity or magnetism or osmosis, get your students to do a homework project with Snapchat. They could capture real world examples of science in action. Being able to relate their learning to everyday life can really help to cement the knowledge. And doing that with a platform they love is sure to help too.
4.) Collaborative Storytelling
This is a fun way to involve the whole class in a storytelling exercise. Get a student to begin the story with a Snapchat video. The next student within the group then has to continue the story with their own video addition before continuing onto the next. Depending on the age of your students, you can discuss story arcs beforehand so your Snapchat story has a definite beginning, middle and end. Or you could get students to create a story in a particular genre.
5.) Caption Competition
With Snapchat’s annotation function, you can get students to create a caption for an image you send to them. This could be used for a language class, encouraging students to use a foreign language to describe a scene they see before them.
6.) Create a Timeline
Whether you’re looking at phases of the moon or a period in history, you can get students to document a timeline using Snapchat. With their own presentations, drawings or real life examples, they can create a useful and memorable representation of events in the correct order.
Getting to grips with Snapchat is easier than you think. Set up a class account and get creative with your Snapchat projects. They’re sure to spark your students’ interest and get them invested in whichever topic you’re working on.
Corinne Ledling is a Content Manager at Bizstats.co.uk. She loves to share her knowledge and experience with technology in education.