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5 Ways to Use Instagram in Class
Instagram Changes Terms Of Service, Stirs Anger Among Users

5 Ways to Use Instagram in Class

November 7, 2014

One of the first things a new faculty member will discover about our students is that they’re hooked on Instagram (and, until recently: Snapchat). They’re always checking their feeds and competing who gets more likes, faster.

Rather than fighting Instagram, why don’t we follow Abraham Lincoln and befriend our enemy? I started using it in my class in Fall 12, and after a few bumps, I found a few activities that my students enjoyed doing and allowed me to transform it into a learning tool.


Activity 1: Adverbs of frequency

You can ask students to post/take a picture of a place they often go to. Their captions should include a sentence with an adverb of frequency.

“Mr. Robert always help students. I never go in Mr. Robert.” –Picture and caption by: Munira, Pre-Foundations 2


Activity 2: Vocabulary List

Whenever a new vocabulary list introduced, you can ask students to pick a word from their list and go around college to take a picture that can explain the word. Their caption should be a sentence using that word.

“I eat breakfast at ten past seven.” Picture and caption by: Shahad, Pre-Foundations 2


“My group are beautiful.” –Picture and caption by: Shaikah, Pre-Foundations 2


Activity 3: Verb tenses


If you introduced a new verb tense, and you want your students to practice using/forming verbs, you can ask your students to post pictures and add captions with X number of sentences to describe the picture using that tense.

“I liked sitting in this place because it makes me feel relaxed. I went to this place all tha time. I loved to sit with my friends in this place and drink coffee and yesterday we talked about what we will do in the weekend.” —Picture and caption by: Najla, Level 1


Activity 4: Telling time

You can ask your students to take a picture of when they go to sleep that night, and post it with a caption using words to tell time. Or, you can do it in class by asking them to take a picture of their with random timings.

“Finally i go to bed at half past two.” –Picture and caption by: Shaikha, Pre-Foundations 2


Activity 5: Prepositions of place

You can ask your students to take out whatever they have in their pockets/bags, and place them on a table. They should place items in a way that allows them to write sentences with 4  prepositions of place.

“1-the file is under the ipad. 2-The ipad is between the phone and bag. 3- The water bottle is on the table. ” Picture by: Asma, Pre-Foundations 2. Caption by: Maitha, Pre-Foundations 2


Things to keep in mind…

  • Unless you ask your students to create new account for class use, they will most probably shy away from posting content to their personal accounts. I usually ask my ladies to create accounts using their IDs as their usernames and their college emails.
  • If you ask your students to go take pictures during class time, make sure to make it clear that they should be back in 10 minutes (or less), and put a timer on the boar. Otherwise, they won’t come back!
  • Use it to your advantage. You can use it to provide strong students with work to keep them busy as they wait for others to finish a certain task. In my classes, my strong students choose by themselves to login to their instagram accounts (they have class accounts) to post pictures using that week’s vocabulary or grammar rules.
November 7, 2014
iPads, Lesson Plans & Ideas
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Sebah Al-Ali

An ESL lecturer whose experience in programming and web development has made her passionate about integrating technology in her classes. She’s mainly interested in how technology can be efficiently utilized to facilitate active learning, develop interactive curriculum, and train teachers.

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