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Meet Sra. Wienhold

Snapchat is not the enemy

Snapchat is not the enemy. There I said it. I have known that Snapchat was a touchy subject in school ever since the first faculty meeting where Snapchat was brought up as a bullying-naughty picture-must be stopped social media. At the time I had a dumb phone, so I did not get it either. Then my nieces made me get it and know I love sending and receiving quick pictures and videos that do not eat up my phone memory. 

According to Pew Research Center 41% of teens age 13-17 use Snapchat, but at my last school I would bet it was closer to 75%. "Snapping" is even a new level of dating, (first we were just snapping, then we were "talking" and now we are dating). I know social media platform's popularity comes in and out, but Snapchat is one I see sticking around for a while. The students LOVE it, so I finally decided to stop fighting it and embrace the possibilities. (Phones are technically not supposed to be used, but I allow them for education purposes or if they ask to use it quickly to take a picture). Here are a few ways Snapchat has helped or been used in my classroom. 


Cultural Snapchat Stories

I love it when students come in telling me about how they watched Feria del Abril, Barcelona, Día de los Muertos, or other Spanish speaking countries or events on their Snapchat story. I remember another Spanish teacher screenshotting the Día de los Muertos story, putting it into a slideshow, and using it to prompt discussion in the target language. Anytime I can get students expanding their knowledge of the Spanish speaking world, on their own, outside of class, I consider it a win. 


Marketing my Class

Have you ever had students run down the hall to your class because they are excited about what they get to do in your class?!? I have and it is the best feeling. Students see their friend posted a video of their class doing the VIERNES chant, so they come in pumped up to post one that is louder and even better! I figure that if something great happens in class, I pull out my phone and take a picture. Why not allow students the same courtesy? (I just ask that they ask first to get out the phone to take a picture). Do you want to be the class that students sneakily tweet how bored they are, or the class that is doing such fun things that they can not wait to share it with their world? 

Real World Choice Homework

Snapchatting in Spanish has quickly become a popular option for choice homework. Instead of just texting, tweeting, or messaging each other in Spanish, they can now "Snap" each other in Spanish. Since may students enjoy this form of communication, why not let them use it to practice their Spanish. However be warned that you will see a lot of ridiculous selfies when they show you their conversation!

Building Class Community 

Allowing students to take photos and videos of their class helps to build a strong class family community. When it is a student's birthday it is tradition in class to sing to them in Spanish while they wear the birthday sombrero. The birthday student and others always ask to take photos and videos of the occasion. It is one of the simple ways that we can celebrate students and make them feel special. Students' Snapchat story describes what is important and valued to them. Don't you want your classroom to be an important part of their life story?

Have you used Snapchat for educational purposes? How? I would love more ideas!

5 comments

  1. So I just created a snapchat account to play around with it. Boy, do I feel so old! Anyway, are they any accounts to follow that show cultural events like you mention or do you forsee this as just being a way for students to communicate with each other?

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    Replies
    1. If you swipe to the right to the live Story area there are always different current cultural events. For example today you can watch stories of marriage equality, Jakarta, Belo Horizante & NBA Draft, but they change every day. It is actually usually students who tell me that a Spanish speaking country or event is listed. Have fun!

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  2. If you have students snapping with each other in Spanish, how do they show you their conversation? Do they have to post it to their story so it will be there the next day? Or do you have them screenshot it? I'm thinking about using this in choice hw. Thanks for the ideas!!

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    Replies
    1. They screen shot the conversation. They love it as a choice HW option!

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