Instagram in the Classroom
You can use Instagram for a journal or writing assignment and answer questions such as: Why did this person share this picture? Who is her audience?
Photojournalism & Instagram
Create a story behind the photograph. Captions and hashtags answer “what”, photo map “where”? What is this? Why is it important? So what? Who, what, where, when, how?
Get the Word Out
Use Instagram to get your message out. Promote a charity, and encourage classmates to get involved. If you want your classmates to know more about a charity like Care Highway, post pictures in Instagram of some of the good works they have done. Follow their comments, and respond.
Friends can’t always be with you. Use Instagram to share images with them when they aren’t with you. If you see something funny, crazy, or breath-taking, take a picture, and share it. This can serve as a photo-journal for inspiration for writing.
Writing about South Africa, but you’ve never been there? Search this destination on Instagram, and see images that residents have posted. Instagram will make suggestions about which locals to follow, as well as provide specific landmarks and destinations.
Learn about travel blogging from Instagram’s travel blogger, Adventurous Kate. This blog is enhanced with photos of Kate McCulley, who at 26, quit her job to travel the world alone, and blogs about it on Instagram.
Sense of Place
Use Instagram for journaling. You can make it specific to your project by focusing on place, such as your community. Show pictures that would inspire someone to explore your community, hometown, or other interesting places you visit.
Instawidget is an app for Instagram, which provides users with the photo of the day. These can be used as prompts for journaling, or for inspiration for other forms of writing. What made this photo so popular? What is happening in the picture?
Ask these questions in the comment section, and follow and respond to the responses. Many of the comments on social media such as: Facebook , Instagram, and Twitter, are shallow or profane. See if you can elevate the conversation, and inspire others to join you. Prompt with questions like, “How does this image make you feel?”
What’s Going on in the World?
Instagram can be used when wanting to write about current events. Instagram uses photosets to capture similar themes among users’ photos. For example, in early May, many users capture images of cherry blossoms, as well as the many festivals around the world which celebrate the blooming of the cherry trees. Around the same time, many images of the Hindu annual festival of Holi emerge (see #holi). In this Hindu tradition, worshipers dress in white and pray as colored powder and jets of colored water are sprayed on them.
You could write about this tradition, as well as compare it to a popular U.S. event called the color run, where runners wear white and run for a cause as colored powder is thrown on them.
Experience a current event through Instagram. What different perspectives do you see through Instagram users’ images of the Olympics, the presidential election, or the selection of a new pope? Photosets relate to current events, and can be used to inspire writing related to these events. As Instagram followers view each photo, they can read the comments to get a sense of the response to the image.
How do I . . .
create an Instagram account?
For APA citations:
Typically, Instagram is not considered a reliable source for citing in an academic paper and there are no specific guidelines for citing Instagram in APA or MLA. However, in the event that you have received prior approval to cite an Instagram image, cite it in-text as an electronic posting and use the electronic citation format for your Reference page as you would online posting.
How do I cite a work of art or photograph in-text in APA?
How do I cite an online posting for the Reference page in APA?
For MLA citations:
How do I cite a visual for in-text citation MLA?
How do I cite a digital image for the Works Cited page in MLA?
Photo: TWU Flickr