What About Snapchat?

Snapchat has been around for years. Educators were quick to file it under “bad social media” as people focused on the ephemeral nature of the tool and essentially thought of as a way for teenagers to share inappropriate images and videos.

I had a conversation a while back with my then 15-year-old about her use of snapchat. She was drawn to it because it enabled private conversations with her friends. I find it ironic that we’ve been telling kids to guard their digital identity and be aware of their privacy and when a tool comes along that supports this, we tell them not to use it. Weird. I get it, images can be screen grabbed and shared without permission, but even snapchat alerts you when this happened. But yes, like all tools, they can be used nefariously. My daughter continued by telling me that in the same way she and her friends talk in her room without adults they want spaces like this online. That doesn’t mean they are doing inappropriate things, but they need ways to share things without adults hovering over them.

A few years ago I found a story format called 5×5. 5 videos, 5 seconds each and try to tell a story. I made this one.

I’ve always been fascinated with these types of story forms. Snapchat stories fascinate me. Recently, snapchat enabled collaborative stories with limited access. Major League Baseball allows fans to contribute to a shared story. Interestingly, they aren’t saving these but again, that constraint and feature is what makes it compelling.

Casey Neistat does save his stories and uses them as his vlog. Thus far, he’s the one doing the most interesting work I’ve seen.  I’m looking for other examples. Here’s my first story. I don’t know how much I’ll continue to use it but for now I’m in full play mode. Follow me if you want to play along. username: shareski



Before you start thinking, “what about snapchat in schools?” Stop it. That knee jerk reaction to immediately think “<insert new tool/app> in the classroom” needs to end.  If blogs and social media were around 50 years ago I’d worry we’d see things like, “Ovens in the classroom”, “5 ways to use Lawn mowers with students”, “Top 10 radio stations to engage students”. Not every technology or app has to be jammed into curriculum or school. In other words,

“Not every technology needs to be “edufied” but in a world that there are so many new things that we are still learning about and figuring out, I think it is important that we have some credibility in the conversation.”  George Couros

That’s where I’m at. I’m playing and exploring first for my purpose. If at some point I think it might be useful for others, I’ll start that conversation. For now, I’m trying to tell and understand stories.

“The truth about stories is that’s all we are” Thomas King