Instagram best of 2017

Instagram best of 2017Instagram supports learning and endeavour. It encourages care, commitment, colour and creativity. On March 6th 2016 I had 6 followers and I blogged about it. Today I have 514 so I have come a long way. These photos don’t represent technology as such, but then again they do. I have been learning a lot in the last two years and I have been rewarded by support on Instagram. The photos represent the encouragement I have had learning to spin, to be sustainable, to support local, to care. The tiny teddies were my contribution to a group project to get 100 knitted for a pastoral program in a school. The blanket with the 4 white feet were when I had finished a baby blanket and then had the big challenge of crocheting an AT-AT . On Instagram you lead by collaborating and engaging. You learn by sharing and seeing. My photography with my phone has improved,  I have good followers and it is a very  positive part of my life. It’s a space where I am using my devices to share what I am doing but then get more ideas . I put myself out there and am calibrated against the rest of the world. You can get your own Instagram best nine by going here : 2017bestnine . This is a snapshot. Instagram is still adding likes to older pictures because people come and go on Instagram as they feel like it these days and it is common practice now to do a digital detox. By next week or the week after these images might change because the rhythm of Instagram participation has changed.

Moving forward on Instagram

Instagram Best NineBack in March I blogged about being an Instagram tragic.  I had signed up to Instagram at the end of last year and then the life events were so big I had no time to get going . I had 6 followers in March. Bit sad, but still, I have moved on. I wasn’t totally useless. The time between signing up and March had been spent getting Instagram on my phone and tablet and finding good people to follow so that my feed was positive and inspiring. I certainly did not fail in that and the daily input from Instagram was, and still is, very uplifting and motivating. Today I have 178 followers which is not a bad improvement and is evidence you just have to be there and participate to grow your social media following. Many of my followers are local and I get input from them which has made Adelaide look and sound very different. I have got to know the benefits of my local area so much better. A number of followers are very creative, artistic people and that is something which has a good impact on me, my life and my thinking. Others are design and tech experts and their ideas are worth seeing. A lot of my followers are from overseas and that keeps me in perspective , is good for my languages and allows me to look at things differently. One of the people I follow and who follows me back put up a picture of their best nine  images for 2016. I have chased that down and you can get your best  nine images from 2016bestnine. It is quick and easy. For me the pinks have it. It’s amazing how many of those pictures are pink. I am laughing that unfinished things are more valuable on Instagram than the finished things. I got more likes for my poor unfinished Hallowe’en cat with just its head than I did for the cat itself. I got more likes for the piles of handspun wool than I did for the beanie I actually made with it. That’s the thing. Instagram really is a good way to document the stages of a project . Instagram also values works in progress because it’s a site which supports learning , creativity, process and development of ideas. That is one of the biggest advantages of Instagram. There is a community which will encourage you to develop ideas and get them into practice. I was also pleased to see the picture of when I left my home to go to my first Living Smart SA course at McLaren Vale. Instagram was there appreciating the fact I was doing something new, worthwhile and which centred on learning.  The nine pictures tell me what I  have achieved on Instagram but also give me an opportunity to reflect. There is what you think and what the world thinks. There is you and your interests and then what the world is interested in. Instagram gives you a way of calibrating yourself and your ideas but it also gives you a way of documenting what you value and what you are learning. Will I make changes now based on the best nine? I have to look at all the other pictures I have put up and see if there is something I really value which others don’t. Does that mean I shouldn’t do it? Not at all. If I want to get those sorts of things  noticed then that forms a basis for social media learning.

How’s Instagram going?

InstagramIt’s going well! I really like Instagram and have benefited enormously from it. In  March this year  I wrote a post to explain I was getting Instagram up and running. I had been on it since the end of last year but really had not had the chance to do anything until March. I haven’t looked back  . I changed the setting from private to public. Being private meant I had a chance to find out how it worked and what to do and run my Instagram account with some confidence. In March I had 6 followers and now I have 101 so like Twitter it was off to a slow start but I gain followers every week and that’s nice. I follow the people who create great ideas and images. My feed is full of inspiration for the things I like and want to learn. I have artists, textile artists, designers, cat people, dog people, coders, fashion and places like Dortmund and Paris.  I am always amazed at how productive people are and what beautiful images they put up. I learn a lot. There are some I interact with now and others I interact with because I can and it is the same for them. Comments and commenting is increasing at this stage. I use different languages and have a number of followers  and  I follow a number of people from Russia. Their textile arts are beautiful. I have learned that Bom dia is good morning in Portuguese and my Portuguese is not bad because my Spanish is better ! I use my German and French a fair bit and then , when we cannot talk each other’s languages, we use emoticons and that works really well  . It is what the people from Russia and I use. You can have fun conversations using emoticons only. Instagram is about superior visual input, ideas creation, creativity and then connections. You can now put up one minute videos and some people do that to show what they are doing or to show how to do something. Designers use video to very good effect. The benefits for me are:

  1. Inspiration
  2. Ideas
  3. Language learning
  4. Positive input
  5. Record things which I value
  6. Record things to blog about later
  7. Get feedback on ideas
  8. Build helpful connections
  9. Improve my skills
  10. Get background information on events, people, displays

Educational uses of Instagram

ablairzis is such a natural teacher. He is relaxed, happy, confident. He is enjoying sharing what he knows with us and he is delighted when he talks about the learning breakthroughs he can witness when he uses Instagram with his students. He has them involved in learning and they are participating in their learning. The DECD Social Media guidelines for South Australia are comprehensive and well thought out. Any social media activity needs to follow local policy guidelines. It is also important to let parents know you plan to use social media and how that fits in with criteria for learning, performance management and curriculum guidelines. We also have a DECD Cybersafety policy in South Australia. If you do not identify the school and you use images of ideas and work rather than people then Instagram could be very handy in a classroom and beyond because it has images and then comments and , from my experience, seems to be a stable platform which encourages creativity and supportive groups.

So what could Instagram be used for?

WeAreTeachers has 10 surprising ways to use Instagram in class.

EmergingEDTech looks at the Picture This: 5 Ways Teachers Can Use Instagram in the Classroom

EmergingEdTech also looks at the education benefits of Instagram in Using Instagram in an Educational Context

AvatarGeneration looks at how you can benefit yourself as a teacher on Instagram and how you can include parents as part of your teaching.

Daily Genius has 10 ways to use Instagram in the classroom.

It is important to start small so it is manageable. It is important to keep people informed. It is important that students are protected online and you have thought that out. Discussing your ideas with others is valuable and worthwhile. You then can work on user experience with real students and get their feedback to improve what you are doing. One point ablairzis makes is that it is a really positive use of smartphones. As teachers we need to always be teaching responsible use and creating opportunities to use the benefits of technology.

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