Monday, April 28, 2014

Instagram in Kindergarten!

Instagram MOM Session from emalkoske

Leah Obach and I had the privilege of sharing Little Hands Extended (project-based learning and the tech tools that support it) at Awakening Possibilities in Winnipeg earlier in the month. We gave our presentation at the Minds on Media session, which featured a number of concurrent presentations in a large room. Erin Clarke was presenting just across from us, and although I was never able to hear her entire presentation, I caught enough snatches of information to capture my interest. Fortunately Erin shared her presentation on her blog, 200 Awesome Days and I have embedded it above.

Instagram was a hot topic at Awakening Possibilities--many people were using it to capture the many amazing sessions at the conference, and many people were talking about how it can improve and support learning in their classrooms. I have used Instagram personally for about a year now, and I find that it fulfills a creative need for me as I edit and share images with friends. But how would I use it in kindergarten? I spent some time researching how Instagram could look in a kindergarten classroom and got some great ideas. I decided that using Instagram in my classroom could help me achieve the following outcomes:
-develop students' emerging writing skills as they caption and hashtag pictures
-create an authentic purpose for writing
-capture and share our learning with parents and other kindergarten classes
-provide an artistic medium for students to express themselves creatively
-to appreciate and share the beauty around them
-learn about other classrooms and geographic regions around the world
-develop an understanding of the world around us as we plot the classrooms we follow on a Bing map
-meet curricular outcomes by participating in challenges such as this one. Thanks Zoe Bettess!

 Last week I decided to dive in and use Instagram for the writing component of our guided reading lesson. First of all, I created a private class account, @olcskinders, for my little ones to use. I began by sharing my personal Instagram account with my senior kindergarten students, talking about the kind of pictures I shared, the captions I wrote, and the hashtags I chose. Then I showed them how to take a picture in Instagram, crop it, and use filters. They caught onto this instantly, so I handed out their devices and gave them the job of taking one photograph and returning to the circle. Together we wrote captions and chose hashtags, and the students were so excited with the results of their first Instagram efforts. Together we looked at everyone's pictures, and began to have some discussions about digital citizenship. Who could we take pictures of? Could we use people's names in the caption or hashtag? As I have signed permission forms from all families, here were the rules we came up with to get started:

1) Take interesting pictures that are neat to look at or show our learning.
2) We can only take pictures of the people in our classroom, not the rest of the school.
3) If we want to take a picture of a staff member, we need to ask them first.
4) All pictures need a caption. We cannot use the person's name in the caption or hashtag.
5) We can hashtag our Instagram pictures with our names so people know who took the picture.

I also decided that we would let our students' families follow us, but we would not follow them back (as all content they post may not be appropriate or interesting for kindergarten students).

 Our first Instagram pictures turned out great!
After using Instagram for one day last week, my student teacher and I decided that students needed a word wall to help them print frequently occurring words in captions and hashtags. Miss Anderson did a fantastic job of creating this one!
This morning, we decided to explore a couple of fun apps that Erin Clarke recommended in her Instagram presentation. I was super impressed how quickly my little ones caught on to using Color Splash and making collages! Wow!
My students are already reasonably proficient Instagram users, so what are our next steps?
-continue to develop our ability to write captions and hashtags
-improve our ability to post quality, interesting images
-develop our ability to read and respond to comments on our pictures
-explore apps to enhance our use of Instagram
-implement a rule similar to Erin Clarke's--for every image you post, you must comment on someone else's image

Take a look at some of our first Instagrams!


1 comment:

  1. I'm an Insta user. Sometimes I need IG Caption for my photos. That's why altimes I am passing my times on Instagram Caption WhatsApp Group for get new and new caption.