How to use social media as a teaching tool

“You are on Instagram and Twitter?!” asks a student in Mrs McNally’s 8th grade Spanish class.

When talking to Dawn she tells me this story:

I started following people on Twitter and Instagram to see what is going on in the world. Monday is opening day for the Red Sox and she posted a quote from David Ortiz’s Instagram photo. Typically he [David Ortiz] comments under his photo in Spanish and English. See how she uses his comment as a topic to talk about in Spanish.

She wrote on her board a few questions:


Questions on the board: What is he wearing? Who wrote this?

The students were excited about it being a famous person, not realizing it was reviewing vocabulary.

She then explained to the students that it was David Ortiz and how there are many people that the students can follow with social media and still learn Spanish with context clues.

How can we use the social media that students use every day in our classrooms. Why ignore it when it can empower our lessons?

HMS created an Instagram this year to go along with our other social media, likeTwitter, to peak students interest of what is going on around our school. Surprisingly for us, there were many followers in the first few days of our Instagram. Currently students tag each other, comment, and  like the post. You can see our HMS social media here: Twitter & Instagram.

Resources & more examples:

For Instagram: We are teachersSpencer IdeasEducation WorldPinterest

For Twitter: Tech Tip, Teach Hub, NEA, Classroom Tweets, The Atlantic, Daily Genius

By Chrystal Hoe, Secondary Technology Integration Coordinator


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