The digital age is full of opportunities. Part of our role as teachers is to expose our students to some of the possibilities and provide a chance for them to analyze, discuss and debate what’s out there. It helps broaden their understanding of the media landscape and opens doors for new ways of doing things. Reading “Geeks Bearing Gifts: Imagining New Futures for News” (the current JEA One Book) has reinforced my belief that we must continue to empower our students to think creatively and take risks.
Snapchat is just one of those creative possibilities. Like it or not, the social app is here to stay and growing steadily. It’s where our students are and where their audience is. In case you missed it, I recommend this convincing post from Chris Snider, who teaches digital and social media classes at Drake University.
When my students first considered adding Snapchat to our toolbelt, they asked my advice. I said just two things:
 Don’t use a new tool in an old way. Find a new way.
 Learn as much about it as you can in order to guide your thinking.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a set of articles that may be helpful. Consider using this recommended reading as a way to do some text analysis or “close reading” in your classroom on a relevant social media tool. Plenty of great opportunities for discussion and comparison exist. Asking students to collaborate toward a “pitch” session on the “yay or nay” of adding Snapchat is a valuable experience, too.
At the end of this post I’ve included a list of Common Core State Standards naturally connected to incorporating these articles into your digital media curriculum. (As a side note, when students define their audience and consider whether Snapchat fits their market, you may find they would benefit from the entrepreneurship lessons in the JEA Curriculum Initiative.)
First, start with Mashable’s Snapchat for beginners.
The other links here are from newest to oldest.
- Is Snapchat really confusing, or am I just old? (This one is more for advisers but mature readers are up for it, and it’s a great piece to use in discussing tone and voice.)
- Snapchat’s new Discover feature could be a significant moment in the evolution of mobile news
- Snapchat as you knew it is gone
- CNN and other media brands come to Snapchat
- Be the star of your own Snapchat Story
- Here’s how to use Snapchat (and how not to use Snapchat)
- Snapchat lets you watch and create group videos of live events with ‘Our Story’
- Snapchat journalism
And last but not least, this piece from the start of the school year looks at how the magazine industry started to catch on, tapping into the much younger Snapchat audience.
|CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.1||Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.|
|CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1||Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.|
|CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1c||Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.|
|CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1d||Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.|