Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Invitation: Instagram for Educators.

Dear educator, parent, community member and student,

Thanks for the blog post visit! Over the last 18 months, the #foodatinstagram (see @foodatoakhill) educators community has developed and discovered wonderful support from each other. It has been a blast! Students and parents enjoy sharing their learning experiences with friends, family and the world.  Due to the interest surrounding Instgram use as a learning space, other schools have joined our community (see links towards end of post). Previous posts about Instagram can be found on my other blog:  Food technology learning journey blog (benefits of instagram) and (instagram challenge).

We are now extending a warm invitation to other KLA (Key Learning Areas) and subjects to accept the NEW #subjectatschool invitation. Congrats to @artatbally for accepting the invitation after hearing about the educators instagram initiative at a recent #teachmeet in Sydney.

What IS the #subjectatschool instagram invitation?

Basically, it is an opportunity for you to CREATE a school based account (not using your personal account) and leverage instagram as: 

  • your subjects visual literacy
  • share learning with your students, parents and wider communities 
  • a means to enhance student engagement
  • a site of virtual connection to students (notices, texts and quotes can also be uploaded)
  • a great tool to teach digital etiquette 
  • an avenue to connect with educators and students from around the state, nation and world 
  • documentation of all the amazing learning activities that occur!
In order to connect more fluently, create an Instagram account 
the #subjectatschool formula.

Eg @artatbally @foodatoakhill @mathsatgalstonhigh @PEatpacifichills @dramaatoakhill 

How do I do this?

  • Firstly, have a clear idea as to WHY you would like to establish an instagram account. Jot down a few ideas and spend time researching other education accounts and/or chat to other educators using Instagram. You can use Instagram as a notice board for students, posting screen shots or text using apps such as Tweegram or versagram.

  • Next, it is a good idea to have a conversation with your Head of school/principal or school leadership team regarding permission to create a school based account. The account can be set to PRIVATE or public. ( I had ours on private for about 3-4 months adding only student and parent followers). Perhaps you may like to show your Head of school a few accounts and comments made by students, parents and community members. They may not be familiar with the popularity and usage of Instagram. Do parents need to be informed or has previous consent been given via signed media policies? What does the schools media policy cover?

Oakhill College students taking images of their rice paper rolls in natural light near our garden.

  • Discuss HOW you plan to use Instagram. Is a trial necessary?  The first images I uploaded were all of general school scenes and aerial shots of students working or preparing food.
  • If you have a school device or smart phone, download the FREE Instagram app (available on both android and ios devices). If not, use another smart phone to create an account. (At this stage you can ONLY sign up for Instagram using an app. You can however VIEW the account from a PC-handy for parents, grandma and so on at home!) 
Creating an Instagram account:
  1.  Very simple! All you need is a user name and password. (Navigate to REGISTER)  Keep the handle shorter for convenience. It is also easier for others to remember!  @mediaatgreystaneshighschool is a tad long! A better option is @mediaatGH or @mediaatgreystanes You can choose one person to manage the account or share the account with a few department teachers that will keep the password secure. After you create the account, you will sign in from the bottom box (See below). If you have one account, you do not need to sign out from your device, however if you have multiple accounts you must sign out and sign in. (no adding multiple accounts - AS YET! Fingers crossed!)

  1. Add a BIO (Edit bio) Inform others of who you are. eg The Media department at Greystanes High will post progress pics of the 2013 Rock eisteddfod. Go team Greystanes! You can link a twitter account or class blog here.
  2. Post your first photo by pressing the middle camera icon. (see instagram help: how do I take a photo) Select "choose" (to add photo), then a select a filter. You can add a tilt shift (blur out part of photo or select the "sun" icon to brighten and add detail. If it doesn't look right, change.

The best way to learn is to experiment. Play. It is fun! 

  1. If you are not happy with the photo, press the X on the top RHS.  Have another go. Once posted, you can also delete an image by pressing the three little dots under the image (RHS)
  2. Interact by following other educational accounts, liking certain photos and commenting on photos from classes around the world (see links below). As more educators/subjects join, I will add their Instagram account to the list below...
  3. Inform students of your subjects Instagram account. Link to a QR code and paste in diaries or post on your virtual classrooms. Include in a newsletter home or school facebook page.
  4. You can use hashtags such as #foodtech #homeec #homeeconomics #food #foodphotography #foodpresentation #instafood to tag your photos to these photofeeds.  
  5. Other educational # include #artworks #artlessons #lighting #theatre #setdesign #dramaclass

  6. Go on!  Get on board. Give it a go.  
    Share your Instagram account with your class, mates, parents, extended family...and the rest of the world!  #unitedbylearning

    Sharing our learning with other students and parents.

    Check out the other schools around the world that have accepted the #foodatschool challenge.

    (Hover over school to select link)





Western Australia:




Primary schools?  eg @stage3atepping,  @stage2atstmonicas

NEW #subjectatschool initiative- WHO will be next to accept the invitation?
This is a post in progress and will be adapted and edited over the upcoming weeks. Please share any tips, hints, suggestions that you feel, would benefit others pondering on how to use Instagram as a learning space.  See you in the insta world!

Keeping the conversation flowing,
@foodatoakhill Twitter handle

Ps Please contribute how you use Instagram for education in the comments below.


  1. Hey,
    I'm currently experimenting with the use of Twitter with my Reception class of 5 yr olds (@TwoWells11). Is there a particular reason for Instagram? I use it and like it, but I wonder if it has advantages over something similar, like Twitter?

    Or do you see more as another way for kids to learn in our digital world and connect with home/community/other learners?

    Can't have too many connections!

  2. Dear Adam,

    Thanks for your question. Currently Twitters policy towards children states that the minimum age is 13. (this is also true for instagram, so utlilising Twitter or instagram in a primary setting must be controlled and accessed from an educators point of view). I am a secondary educator. If I was in a primary setting, I would utlise instagram to connect with families and other stakeholder that would enhance classroom learning.

    From TWITTERs current terms of conditions:
    "Our Services are not directed to persons under 13. If you become aware that your child has provided us with personal information without your consent, please contact us at We do not knowingly collect personal information from children under 13. If we become aware that a child under 13 has provided us with personal information, we take steps to remove such information and terminate the child's account. You can find additional resources for parents and teens here."

    The beauty of instagram is that is very visual. The rapid imparting of information via visual literacy is proving more and more beneficial, as can be seen with the rise of infographics. Not only can you post actual photos but also cartons, graphs and text (screen shot of notes or using apps such as versagram and tweegram). As mentioned in the post, instagram is a wonderful way to connect with students, parents, the school community and the wider national and global community. Utlizing social media in the learning space is a tremendous way to model positive digital citizenship. We have made many connections via our use of instagram which has impacted on students learning.

    Cheers MrsJ.

  3. Hi Jeanette,

    At the moment I'm working on trying to get funds for a school tablet device for Instaeducation. I would also like to factor in some money for lighting etc. and noticed in your 'Sharing our learning with other students and parents.' photo that there is some kind of mini photo booth or light box that you are using. Is there a name and supplier for this? I've not seen it anywhere but on here.

    Kindest regards,

  4. HI Dianne,
    The mini photo booth was from office works- it was under $200. What country are you living in? I think the brand was OPTEX (portable photo booth)
    Have fun.

  5. @HartmansRoomGr412 August 2014 at 14:02

    Thank you for your post with great ideas! Our fourth grade class uses Instagram to connect with families and share out our learning with the world. We're starting a 30 day #backtoschoolchallenge soon to connect with other classrooms (see our account for more details). Later we'll be sharing more about our reading and writing in the classroom. We'd love to connect with other schools and students!

  6. thanks for your ideas. I found your blog post as I was preparing for a presentation to colleagues about using Instagram in the classroom. I'm a Foods Studies teacher in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Find me on Instagram @McnallyFoods

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