Can Snapchat Inspire Readers?

 

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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!

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8 thoughts on “Can Snapchat Inspire Readers?

  1. I would have never imagined Snapchat being used in a classroom. But after reading your post, I could definitely see it proving to be beneficial for education. For a physical education class, since that it my subject area, I could develop my own class Snapchat and encourage students to post snaps of themselves participating in physical activity outside of the classroom and receive points for it. How would you incorporate Snapchat into your classroom?

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    • I like your idea for PE! As an elementary teacher, I’m not totally sure how I could incorporate Snapchat since access to phones at that age is hit and miss. I think maybe I could follow authors and libraries and then in our free time, look through the Snaps that authors send? Could be a way to use those few extra minutes in class. I know too that with elementary students, taking the concept of a social media site (but not actually using the site itself) goes over well. For instance, I worked with a teacher that had students respond to a question she posted on the bulletin board in Facebook style comments. They had to draw a profile picture and everything. So many options!

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  2. I also would have never thought of using Snap Chat for something like a book talk. Since I wasn’t raised with all of today’s modern technology, I find that I’m not terribly creative in their uses. One step at a time though I am learning.

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  3. I think you would need to limit the length of time on the app to assure your students are working and not goofing. Maybe giving them 30 minutes to write and film a Snap chat book talk about a book they have read would limit their goofing.

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