Meet Instagram

Can it be Used in the Classroom?

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a free photo-sharing app that works on iPhone and Android. Snap a picture; apply a filter; share! You also have the option to share instantly to Facebook, Twitter, Email, Tumblr, Flickr, and foursquare.

Instagram allows you to comment on and like other people's photos.


With 150 million active users per month, these 20 Instagram statistics are impressive.

Instagram Quiz

Take this quiz to see if you're smarter than a fifth grader on Instagram.

Sign up for an account!

  1. Download the app to your iPhone, iPod, iPad or Android device.
  2. Open the Instagram app.
  3. Tap on "Sign up" to create your account. This must be done on your device. (Even though Instagram has a website, you cannot create an account through the website.)
  4. Enter your email address, username, password, and upload a profile picture (optional).
  5. Click Done.

Privacy Settings

The default setting is not private. Anybody with an Instagram account can see your photos and like or comment on them unless you turn Photos Are Private ON.
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With the privacy settings turned on, anyone who wants to follow you will have to send you a follow request which you can approve or ignore/deny. To approve or deny a request, tap on the username to go to their profile page. At the top of their profile page, you will see the approve and ignore buttons.

A Few Tips

  • Instagram, like Twitter, uses hashtags to categorize photos by topic making it easy to search.

  • Users can mention or search for other users (@UserName).

  • Be wary of sharing photos with students’ faces and names due to privacy concerns.

Ideas for Using Instagram in the Classroom

Instagram can be used in the following ways in the classroom; however, there are other tools that will work as well or better.

  • Share homework assignments (photos of the whiteboard/SmartBoard, etc.)

  • Share interesting student work

  • Class scavenger hunts

  • Photo essays/journaling

  • Caption writing

  • Photo prompts

  • Math/science concept illustration

  • Art

  • Share photos of real-life connections to classroom learning

  • Show a sequence/observing a change

Beauty is Only Skin Deep but Instagram is to the Bone!

In this article, a mom writes bluntly about how parents (and I think educators) need to empower kids so that they can make the right decisions.
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Instagram Video: What Parents Need To Know

Instagram added a new feature in June, 2013 - the ability to upload 15 second videos. This site from explains what parents need to know.

Also included is a PDF that you can download here with even more good information for parents and suggestions on how to help your student/child have a pleasant and responsible experience on Instagram.