Snapchat 101: A Guide For Educators

The Burlington High School Help Desk is thrilled to be teaming up with Marialice Curran, and the rest of the digital citizenship moderation team, and is sponsoring the new challenge-based digital citizenship Twitter chats. Rather than the typical monthly chat, we have decided to “go rogue.” We are going to stop simply talking about digital citizenship and start doing digital citizenship! For the month of April, we are challenging teachers and school leaders to explore and experiment with the insanely popular photo, video, text, and gif sharing application called Snapchat. We are seeking creative exemplars that can motivate other educators and school districts to give Snapchat a try.

We’re sure you’ve heard of Snapchat (see a brief history here if you are interested in its origins) , especially if you’re a high school educator or have a teenager of your own at home, but you may not realize its potential for use in an educational setting. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Snapchat, but want to be a part of the early adoption group of the app that’s beloved by teens everywhere, the BHS Help Desk students (all of whom are Snapchat experts) are here to help! My students have started creating “Snapchat 101: A Guide for Educators.” This will be a series of video tutorials (this first one is embedded below and features BHS Help Desk student Jhymon Moodie) designed to acclimate new users to Snapchat. My students will also be curating and sharing a list of ideas on how to integrate Snapchat in ways that will engage students.

And if you think learning about another messaging app is a waste of time, and it’s only relevant for teens, think again! Snapchat is now being used by more and more businesses and well-known brands, including Forbes, in innovative ways that ultimately create stronger customer relationships. Obviously, this is a technology that warrants further exploration and we are hoping that progressive thinking educators and school leaders will seriously investigate if there is in fact a place for Snapchat in the classroom. The most exciting part of this exploration and investigation is that educators will need to rely heavily on their students; not only to learn the technology, but to brainstorm ideas on how to most effectively use the technology. This digital citizenship challenge truly empowers students and will give them the opportunity to serve as digital citizenship leaders within their school. It brings the phrase “learning together” to a whole new level!

So why are we doing all this and why Snapchat? We know that Snapchat is a technology our students are already using and feel comfortable with, so why not meet them in their digital space and help guide them towards positive and appropriate use? And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that once you start using it, Snapchat can be quite a bit of fun! So please, join us for the April #digcit challenge and share with us via Twitter a link to a blog post or a video explaining how you will be using Snapchat and the impact you hope it will have on your school community. You can reach us on Twitter at the following accounts:

@BHShelpdesk
@jlscheffer
@mbfxc

You can also share your Snapchat success story directly in the comments section below this post. Please provide a link to what you wish to share! We will be reaching out to those of you who share your stories to coordinate a live Google Hangout On Air at the end of April.  We will feature up to 10 educators (and hopefully their students) in the live Hangout and this will be taking the place of our traditional Twitter chats. We feel this format of sharing positive digital citizenship success stories will have a greater impact and ultimately serve as REAL inspiration and motivation for other schools that are considering the integration of Snapchat. In May and June we plan to rollout additional digital citizenship challenges so stay tuned!

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