If you were to tell me before today that Snapchat could be used as a teaching tool, I would look at you like you were crazy. As a teacher, I am all for embracing technology. I just wondered, is there any sort of educational value in ten second video clips and flower crowns? Apparently, there is.
I read a neat article from The School Library Journal that showed a librarian using Snapchat to do book talks. This idea practically blew my mind. What a creative way to use social media! I think that the use of Snapchat would be a great way for public libraries to gain a larger following among young people, and inspire them to read. I tried to put myself in the shoes of a teenager at the library—checking out a book, with no clue as to what I’m getting, and no plan for my reading. At the counter, I see a sign advertising my library’s Snapchat. Now, anytime I am on my phone, I can get quick, instant reviews of books. I could also get behind the scene looks at librarians prepping for events, and perhaps attend one (as one of the few nerdy kids that went to many library events, I can attest to the underwhelming attendance). I now have a stronger, more invested connection to my local library, without a ton of time or money being spent on either side.
At the end of the day, Snapchat isn’t going to provide ground breaking knowledge or insightful scholarly articles. What it does do though, is remind people that reading can be fun! It’s also a great way to reach those students that may otherwise be unreachable. I’m for anything that promotes a lifelong love of reading, because that is one of the most powerful things we can gift a student.
I want to leave you all with some questions. Like I mentioned, I think this would be a fantastic tool for public libraries. As a classroom teacher, I wonder, how it would translate in a school setting, where phones are normally outright banned? If you chose to use Snapchat in your classroom, how could you make sure students were using it for the intended purpose? I know Snapchat has been shown to be a part of many cases of bullying, and I would hate to have my attempts to positively integrate fun social media backfire. I really think this concept is great, I’m just trying to be realistic at the same time. I’d love to hear your thoughts!