Hold the iPhone: Selfies in the Classroom


Hey everyone, guess what day it is? Dot Day 2014! Of course, as you can see above, I have a selfie of my coffee mug along with my dotted tie. What does this picture say about me? Give up? Well, most people would say: “We all need coffee on Monday.” Of course that isn’t it. Dot Day this year is also Coffee Day for me, yeah I know, every day is Coffee Day but for me it means more. Six years ago, when I worked my old job at the coffee shop, I met my wife who had ordered coffee for her office that day. In the last couple of years, the term “selfie” has gone from an internet craze to being put in the world dictionary. Selfie really means to take a picture of one’s self in any situation from how we dress to where we are. There are a plethora of Apps for Selfies, even an upcoming TV series about someone who can’t help but take pictures of herself doing everything from work to going out on town. Did you know you can use Selfies in the Classroom? Oh, its true, in fact I have seen a total of over 30 schools where classroom teachers are using Instagram for their daily activities and reflection in the classroom. I’m here to talk about a few Apps that you can use for Classroom Selfies and how they will impact learning on you and your students.

snappen1. Snap Pen: This is an $.99 App that likes to go free every couple of months. Its an annotation App that allows you to draw messages and images on pictures. Let’s take my picture above, I could take this picture and draw an arrow to my tie saying “Dot Day” and then to my Coffee Cup saying: “Everyday is Coffee Day.” Funny but it gets the point across. One could take a Selfie how them heading on the bus. The teacher could then say: “Find the dots.” Or even: “What should a student always do when getting on the bus.” Simple as that. More advance would be using a picture of a science teacher about to do a chemistry experiment and asking to identify the correct chemicals to use or the where the PPE is.  Try it.

snapchat2. Snap Chat: Yes, I said Snap Chat. Now, personally I have never gotten into Snap Chat but several of my teachers and some of my online resources use Snap Chat. My college, loves to use Snap Chat for sporting events and Talks of Campus. Really gets the buzz out for school events but that’s higher level. Snap Chat allows you to “snap” pictures or short videos and send them to friends and they self destruct after 10 seconds unless you use Replay option to bring one image or video back for a 24 our period. In the classroom, one teacher used Snap Chat to take picture of her students and have them do videos about their expectations and goals were for the semester. Another way is create group discussion and quick thinking. Take a picture of an area in your classroom or an activity area that you will be using for the day. Have students give their feedback on what they think they will be doing today. Also, if you set up a classroom Snap Chat, use it for student reflection, guided reading, eats. Its a great way to use this App.

frontback3: Front Back: I love this App since I discovered it this past Spring. It allows you to take pictures with both cameras on a device. You an also reverse it and take two front pictures or two back pictures and layer them. My favorite was to take one picture of a demonstration and then use the other picture to show the completed project. Another one I loved to use was for a class presentation and take a picture of a person presenting and then the classrooms reaction to it. Give it a try, its built on Instagram.

updownvideo4. UpDown Video: Similar to Front Back, this allows you to record up to 15 seconds of video with both cameras. I used this for school concerts. One took a video of the teacher conducting the band and the other was the band playing. I just muted the conducting video and it showed real time playing from both POVs. Another great one is to show before and after videos all at once. Great for art and Makey Makey projects.

instragram5. Instragram: Yep, the classic one, more and more classes are making Instagram boards by making their own classroom hashtags and sharing with the teacher. Then creating Instagram bulletin boards for the classroom. Post to your schools webpage or teacher blog all of your classroom lessons, activities and working on projects at home. There are limitless possibilities.

Unknown6. GrooveBook: I just discovered this App a few days ago and I love it already. Love taking classroom Selfies but worry about getting them all printed out. With GrooveBook upload up to a 100 pictures a month and get a $2.99 GrooveBook for your classroom memories. The album ships in 10-12 days and you can tear out the pictures and give them to your students, post them on your board and more. Try it today.

I hope this helps you with Selfies in the Classroom, please share  your ideas.


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