Monday, June 1, 2015

Using Instagram to Share Experiences In the Classroom

I've been in Belize during the reflection period for a course I'm taking about mobile learning. During this time we were asked to experiment with a mobile app we were planning on using in a course assignment. I've started experimenting with Instagram since I teach a course in digital media and social networking. The activity I'm working on will have students share experiences in their class blog using Instagram. In their class blog the students write about a hobby or some topic they are interested in.

By adding an Instagram photo stream to their blog they can easily add a visual journey about their topic throughout the semester. By using a class hash tag, all pictures can be centralized on our class website. Instagram will also provide another level of student-student and student-instructor interaction through the ability to comment/like each others photos.

Being out of the country is affording me a way to test the app without the convenience of easy and fast Internet connectivity. I take my photos with the native camera app and send them to Instagram when I get to a wi-fi area. I used a note taking app to jot down details to paste into Instagram when I returned. Even on a slow Internet connection Instagram has not given me any problems adding my images to the stream. The Instagram interface is very easy learn and provides you with a few editing and effects tools.

Assessment of the Instagram part of the activity will be easy to track since all activity is timestamped. I'm working on the assignment rubric criteria for the Instagram portion. Things to consider will be the frequency and timeliness of posts, level of comment details, interactivity generated and proper tagging.