Just like my students, I love social media. While I always enjoy a good mindless scrolling session, I also really enjoy using social media to learn and connect with people.

I know our school systems frown upon friending students on social media, and to a great extent, I agree. However, what if you used for speaking on behalf of your ensemble, organization, or classroom? What if you had a separate teacher account to post reminders or display student work?

I decided to make an Instagram account for my choral program over the summer, because I figured they check it more than email. I still use Remind text messages, but this is an extra, and somewhat creative, way to send reminders or just promote a fun, family atmosphere among our students.

First, I began using Word Swag, an app used to create visually appearing text images. I created event reminders, quote cards, and our monthly theme images with the app, and it greatly impacted our program. Students knew when events were coming up, and sometimes class discussions sparked from posts I had made, sometimes without the intention of wanting a response!

I also use Instagram to document fun or musical moments in rehearsal. Of course, I only post students that have turned in media releases to our school, and never put their full names.

Another fun activity we did as an organization was #HanahanChorus30DaysOfThanks, where we posted pictures of things/people we were thankful for and kept track of them with that hashtag. It was a lot of fun, and promoted the importance of gratitude. We are going to do something similar in February for our next monthly theme!

Instagram does make your account follow at least 5 people, which is a little frustrating since I use my own personal account for that purpose. Our choir account follows Eric Whitacre, because what choir wouldn’t? I don’t follow any of my students or students at the school, but if they leave a comment I do respond if needed!

Here are a few examples of posts I’ve made for you to get an idea of how I use this app:

Reminders:

My centering skills aren’t very good, but there’s our retreat information in a somewhat visually appealing medium!


Incorporating instruction:

Our September theme was “Musicianship,” in which they had to memorize the definition that we recited every day!


Fun/Humor:

The Chickfila cow came to school for a leadership workshop so I made him sing a little bit.

 

Not only has this been effective, it’s been FUN! I love creating little quote cards, or posting something I know will make them laugh, or won’t make them laugh at all. For me, it’s a community building tool, and it’s been valuable thus far! I highly recommend trying it out!

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Do you use any social media apps to enhance your classroom? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below, or continue the conversation on Twitter @LindsayBrazell.