Can Snapchat be Used for Education?

snapchat-logoWhenever there are popular apps and platforms it seems like it is only a matter of time until we see it used in education.

Facebook groups have been used in adult education, even Facebook based learning management systems.

We have seen Twitter leveraged for education as well by both teachers in the classroom and at professional conferences.

YouTube has been a perennial favorite with educators in nearly every sector.

But what about the popular (and growing) platform Snapchat?

I don’t want to assume that everyone has heard of Snapchat. While some of you reading this article may scoff, there are actually many people who don’t really understand Snapchat or its point.

In short, Snapchat provides people a way to send & share videos, pictures, and messages with friends. These can only be shared with friends for a few seconds though because these messages will then “self destruct” (i.e. they can now longer be viewed).

It has proven to be a hit with youth and also with celebrities and it is growing in its use ever day, seen as more trendy and relevant than other apps like Twitter.

I have yet to see any practical use of Snapchat from an ed-tech perspective. I did come across this brief article outlining how teachers are taking to Snapchat because that is “where all their students are”, but there is still a lack of any relevant use-cases.

It’s hard to say if the app will ever have an impact in education. At first glance I struggle to think of where it could fit. The best I can think of is using it during live training events in some capacity. Perhaps a way to ask a question on seminar material. But that almost seems like using Snapchat for the sake of just using it.

What do you think? Can Snapchat have an impact in education or does it seem destined for entertainment purposes only?

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

2 Comments
  1. Herb Coleman

    Where did educators ever get the idea that we have to be everyplace students are? For decades students were on the playground, in the woods, at the malt shop, talking on party lines, at the movies, in the mall, at the skating rink, in the swimming pool, watching TV and playing video games; all without teachers being present. Why is it then that educators feel that they need to peer into students social media realms? Students need space to kids with their peers and away from their teachers. I’m sure the last thing most of them want is their teachers to “friend ” them or follow them on Snap chat. Just as adults we educators need spaces to be adults away from children. Just because are students “are there” doesn’t mean we need to or should be there. I teach at community college. lots of my students are on Tinder and Grinder. Do these educators think we out to be there as well? I can also mention other places my students go online that we probably don’t want to follow but i think you get the picture.

  2. @Herb

    Where did anyone get the idea that since something has been going on for centuries, it has to keep on go on the same way?
    You can go – and I don’t understand this as an obligation – whenever there is value for teaching. I don’t personally see that value on Tinder or Grinder, so there’s no point of going there with my social role as a teacher. Generally it’s often spectacular and interesting for me to watch how new media are being captured for classical aims – like education. It’s like a phenomenon even if they have more of symbolic and PR value, not really educational.

    Nevertheless, for me Snapchat looks like a tool useful for so called contextual learning – you are a social scientist, you might go to different places and connect live social situations with short information about terms and theories discussing them.

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