I found this article to be extremely relevant since I just had student complete an anonymous google forms survey about the class I'm teaching this semester. Looking over the results from the survey I found that a lot of my senior students shared similar views about engagement. They found that the most useful lessons were the ones that had clear links to their own personal lives and futures. The least useful assignments were the lessons that were conducted from the book and covered material they had seen or completed before. I've passed along the information from this survey to my Master Teacher so that she can adjust the material covered next year to better engage the students.
Going forward I'm going to make sure to incorporate some of the ideas from this article since my students clearly indicated that my lessons when we are filling out a worksheet are much to bland and mechanical. Livening up the material and connecting it to students would help to keep students engaged and interested in the problems.
This seems like an interesting way to integrate instagram into the classroom. While I had to use google translate to read the formal instructions the basic rules and structure of the activity are well thought out. For a language class I can see this being a useful method of creating additional engagement with the students. The authors also list a benefit of choosing instagram over twitter. The ability to use more than 140 characters allows for more hashtags and longer responses.
Integrating this activity would be difficult on a daily basis in a math class. While I have seen some interesting lessons being taught in the Integrated Math classes, I'm not sure that they would mesh well with instagram on a daily basis. I do see other uses for instagram in the math class though. With more math instruction focused on groupwork and assignments it's hard to properly catch a student up on material when they miss a class. If your consistently taking pictures and commentating on the activities students are doing in class you will have a ready resource to direct students to when miss a class or need to review the material at home. I think that instagram could step into this role admirable as the students are already likely to be checking the app daily and they should be comfortable with navigating its interface.
Instagram Scavenger Hunt
This article gives another interesting use for instagram in the classroom. In this case they discuss the use of instagram in creating goals and objectives for a field trip. By having students focused on finding and picturing the listed items you are helping to increase engagement. This article also provides more advise for formalizing an activity around instagram than the last article as the directions for this activity are more straightforward and structured by the nature of the time constraint.
Most of my insights from the last article also apply to this one. I still feel that a daily implementation of instagram into the lessons will be difficult in a math class by the nature of the subject. Covering the material doesn't lend itself well to instagram most days.
#InstagramELE November (and a new approach)
This article updates us on the instegramELE challenge and introduces the idea of gamification to the activity. I truly think that gamification is a direction we need to be moving towards with more of our instruction. I am a regularly play boardgames and videogames and I understand the engagement that can come from these activities. I reach a state of flow much more often when I am taking part in an activity that I view as a game. Having clear structure and rules allows me to focus on mechanics and strategy. I feel that students would preform much better on assessments if they viewed the work and activity in this light.
Adding badges as achievements helps students to see steady progress and advancement. While I no longer have a link to the article, I read an article that discussed the way MMO's and slot machines have used micro-achievements to keep players engaged. The science basically showed that small wins and loses are less likely to knock players out of the zone. To keep engagement students need to see a clear path to their end goal and have markers to show progress.
I feel that adding the badge element to the instegramELE project is a sound idea.
3 Ways Colleges Use Instagram
This article covers how the Universities have been integrating instagram into their social media presences online. The article lists how these universities have rolled out instagram programs and how these programs have transitioned into community building tools for their Universities.
These universities are leveraging instagram as a means of connecting students to each other and the community around their school. This article highlights how instagram can be used to engage students at an institutional level instead of a classroom level. These types of projects facilitate the process of community building on a class and school wide level.
I think these are useful articles as the help to expand the discussion about instagram. For many educators instagram is a problem since they have to remind students to constantly get off their phones in class. Identifying educational uses for instagram is a great step in helping educators understand that instagram, like any tech tool, can easily be leverage to improve student learning and engagement.
While I'm sure that many educators were dismissive of youtube when it first came out, I feel that there are many teachers who couldn't imaging teaching without youtube now. Considering the wealth of readily available videos on youtube that cover a diverse selection of subjects, the loss of youtube would set many teachers back greatly in generating student engagement. They effectively have a complete library of VHS educational tapes at their fingertips now.
With proper implementation Instagram could also be seen as a valuable tool for generating student engagement in the near future.