Social Media in Education: An Interview with SITE Workshop Organizers Cassandra Drake and Alison Sternal

With the ever-growing popularity of tools such as Instagram and Snapchat, social media has taken a visual turn.

  • Instagram is a mobile photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook. Launched in October 2010, the site had reached 1 billion monthly active users in June 2018. It enables users to take pictures and edit them with a selection of digital filters.
  • Snapchat is a mobile photo messaging and multimedia sharing app which was released in September 2011, and ranks as the most popular social media site among teenagers and young adults in the United States. During the fourth quarter of 2018, Snapchat reported 186 million daily active users worldwide.

How can educators leverage these tools? Cassandra Drake and Alison Sternal are addressing this question at SITE 2019. Their workshop on Monday, March 18 from 1:30-5:00 PM is entitled: Using Instagram and Snapchat in Education – Student Engagement, Instruction and Assessment. Below is an interview with Cassandra Drake about the workshop.

Is this your first time at SITE? What are you most looking forward to at this conference?

Yes! I am looking forward to networking and especially within my areas of interest including – teacher education pedagogy curriculum and instruction, assessment, social media, equity and social justice.

Why did you decide to submit a workshop proposal?

I do an Instagram training within my position at SDSU for the Arts Alive collaborative teaching exchange. Within this context I have interacted with and trained faculty members within disciplines across my university campus. I wanted to expand the depth and breadth of this experience into a single training and add on the use of Snapchat which I’ve found to be a strong favorite among my undergraduate students at San Diego State.

What key insights do you hope your participants will take away from your workshop?

We would like our participants to leave us with a better understanding of how social media technologies can be used in an academic context as well as an action plan for utilization of one or both applications within their area of interest. They should also understand the ethical and privacy-related issues surrounding the use of these applications as educational tools.

What methods will you use during the workshop?

Both of us are former K-8 teachers so we will provide scaffolding for our learners in the form of worksheets and other informational handouts. This workshop includes hands-on activities in which the entire group will individually attempt on their own personal devices. We will provide support and trouble shooting guidance as we move through our presentation. (Participants should have a fully charged device with the four applications – Instagram, Snapchat, Canva and Bitmoji – downloaded. Be sure to bring a charging cable!)

Who should be coming to your workshop and why?

Anyone who is interested in using these two applications within an academic/professional context should join in. Also, those working with younger generations (18-24 and 25-34 year olds) who need an effective way to communicate and engage with these populations.

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