This week, my goal was to research how teens use social media websites. My goal was to see how I might find a way students could use those to further their learning. I did some preliminary research on teens online, and I found some surprising statistics.
Our students are online. Almost every single student has a huge presence online. Most of them use social media as a means for communicating with peers and staying current on the newest trends.
I did some searching online to see what students might find if they tried to find books to read. After combing through several social media sites, I decided to settle my focus on Instagram. I pulled the app up on my phone, and tapped on the search by. I wasn’t sure where to start, so I figured “#books” might be the simplest beginning.
I was right. “#book” brought me to thousands of pictures of… You guessed it! Books! At the top of the screen, related hashtags popped up: #currentlyreading, #shelfie, #booksofinstagram, and #bookstagram were some of the best hashtags I could find. Within seconds, books like Wonder and Inkheart appeared on my screen.
If I wasn’t already head-over-heels in love with Instagram, I think this most recent discovery has pushed me over the edge.
According to the Pew Research Center, Instagram is the second most popular social media site for teens. Students can use this for more than just combing through the pictures of their friends. They can find actual posts by online readers who identify themselves as so.
Students can use Instagram to actually build their PLN (personal learning network). Students can find and give recommendations and build a community around themselves of readers.
Instead of surface-level searching and viewing, students can actually build and grow their TBR lists and reading resources. I’m looking forward to find ways to integrate Instagram into my own classroom.