- Overhaul and analysis of each app
- Practical educational use of Flipgrid and pet account/personal use of TikTok and Instagram
Here are my app overhauls:
- Flipgrid: Everything You Need To Know
- Instagram: Everything You Need To Know
- TikTok: Everything You Need To Know
And my recap posts throughout the project:
- Major Project: A Personal Journey into Media (introductory post)
- Week 1 – Building My Empire
- Week 2 – Quality Content
- Weeks 3 & 4 – Short Attention Span
- Weeks 5, 6 & 7 – Changing my approach
Throughout the project, I created recap videos highlighting my dog, @callie.the.golden.pup and our experience on TikTok and Instagram. To watch the progress from week 1, you can check out my YouTube playlist. Here is the final recap video:
A few reflections about the project and each app:
I originally planned to include Snapchat in my exploration, but as the semester progressed (and COVID-19, etc), I had to make some changes. I use Snapchat personally, but do not feel like it is a tool I will ever use in an educational setting (except for discussing digital citizenship and safe app use).
I am really glad I took the time to learn more about this app and complete an overhaul of learning about the safety and privacy features. This is a tool I have already used with students as we start online learning during the COVID-19 school closures. I love the ability to build a virtual community among students, which is something we are missing right now. A proud moment – I posted a “Be Creative” challenge for students to share something creative. One student shared that they were learning an instrument, another student replied with a question about recommendations for how to learn the instrument, and the first student replied with their recommendations! Flipgrid says “empower every voice”, and I feel like it does exactly that!
Using this app highlighted a lot of concerns about young people (especially under the required age of 13) using the app. My dog account was a lot of fun to use to try and understand how TikTok works (especially the algorithm – still a mystery). Many of the comments on my videos came from accounts that appeared to be little girls (based on the information provided in their profiles), which made me realize how important it is for guardians to be aware of the content their children are consuming. What if @callie.the.golden.pup was actually a cover for a child predator and used to lure children? Using the app with students would likely never be supported by a school division due to privacy and safety concerns, but it is full of relevant pop culture content to engage students and learn about digital leadership/citizenship. It could also be used as a tool to explore how social media can be used to promote positive social activism!
Instagram is a great platform for many different types of users – personal, professional, businesses, organizations, public figures, brands and has a large hashtag base supporting global movements. There are many privacy controls that can be activated to ensure a safe user experience, but it is important to remember that it owned by Facebook – all your information is shared between the apps (especially for advertising). I enjoyed posting photos of my dog Callie on my @callie.the.golden.pup account and learned more about engaging with followers and the importance of posting quality content. From an educational standpoint, it might be useful to create a school account as there is such a large user base (you go where the kids/parents already are). That being said, I think better tools with stronger privacy settings, like SeeSaw, already exist.
My biggest take-away from this project is to learn lots about an app (privacy, safety, data collection) and how to use it before working with students. Sometimes I just try an app out and then leave it – that was my experience with Flipgrid in previous years. But when I actually took the time to learn about how to get the most out of the app, the experience was so much more meaningful. I can think of a lot of different apps that educators are trying out or continuing to use during the COVID-19 school closures. I think it is important to take a little bit of time to understand the safety and privacy implications and learn how to use an app before rolling it out. This will make for a better experience for everyone involved!
Will I continue my @callie.the.golden.pup accounts? Maybe! If anything, I have created a nice collection of photos and videos to remember our cute puppy during this time.
Until next time,