24 April 2014

Daily Instagram Updates

The objectives and activities for the day must always be neatly markered on my classroom whiteboard for students and principal to see. Wouldn't it be great if I could put that same information online without having to retype everything I just wrote out in pretty colors? Couldn't I just take a picture on my phone and send it out to all of my eager and absent kids? I mean I suppose I could copy and paste my lesson plans into a Google Calendar that I embed in the class web page, but maybe I'm just lazy. And spoiled. I want to do everything from my phone, without all of that clicking and toggling and mousing around.

So I made an Instagram account.

I have been snapping a shot of each class's "I cans" and agendas for a couple of weeks now and tagging each with...
  1. the grading period it's from: #2nd6weeks, #3rd6weeks
  2. the course: #español1, #creativewriting, #español2y3
  3. the unit topics: #festival, #genres, #pasión
  4. modes of communication for Spanish: #writing, #speaking, #listening, #reading, #P2P; #workshops
    exercise types in Creative Writing: #revision, #workshops, #litcircle
Our school is currently working on incorporating the New Schools Project Common Instructional Framework (we have magnets and everything! Thanks Caldwell Early College!), so I might eventually incorporate those, too, to allow for searching. 

Then I made a page on my class Google Site and figured out how to embed my Instagram feed using the instructions below for Intagme.com:

Hint: Google Chrome freaks out about the security of my Instagram embedding, but I have no problem viewing on Firefox.

I made the display 3 photos/courses across so you could see a day-by-day representation of what we did. I did have to take a separate picture for each course's objectives to fit the little Instagram hipster square, a process which would be much less loathsome if I had ANY kind of reception in my classroom.

I also started to add links for searches from Iconosquare.com by hashtags below the photos for students to find that class where we worked on passion projects, or classes where we did some person-to-person for their portfolios, perhaps. PS I have since discovered that it's probably wise to add my own code, e.g. SXTN to the hashtags so there are not thousands of, say, #creativewriting tags that pop up on searches--for example, *I* would be the only #SXTNcw or #SXTNes1.

Now, did that really save me more time than just typing them all out? Well, no. But it will. I'll have this page set up now, the system for searching lessons by hashtag, and a quick update as I walk out the door...and into 4G territory. So really, I will be getting more use out of the time I do spend.

And it looks kind of cool.

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