Why Are Schools Scared of Snapchat?

Ah, Snapchat.

It’s full of funny, inappropriate, disappearing photos. In just a few seconds, you can communicate an important message, then have it disappear the next. No wonder kids love using it so much!

In an age where your digital footprint leaves a legacy, Snapchat provides a way to communicate without the worry of future repercussions.

Unfortunately, schools are getting crippled by fear. This is causing them to fall further and further behind in technology awareness and understanding of teenage behaviour.

But why do schools feel so afraid of Snapchat? What’s causing them to turn their backs on a channel that has gained so much popularity among students? Well, it really comes down to one main reason...

Don’t Know How to Use It

Teenagers have this innate ability to understand then adapt to the slang, context, and culture of new social channels. Most schools and educators don’t have that same ability.

A lack of fully understanding the platform leads to fear. Fear that you won’t do it right; fear that something will go terribly wrong; fear that you’ll cause a huge problem for the entire school. And so, it seems better to not use it than to use it wrong.

Watch the video above to learn how to use Snapchat.

So... How Do You Use It?

Snapchat is used by people all over the world (not just teens!) to share personal stories and insights into their experiences.

When you share on Twitter, you are broadcasting to the world. And this creates a digital legacy.

When you share on Snapchat, you share moments to a specific group of chosen friends. It creates no digital legacy, because the messages self-destruct after a selected amount of time.

Read a 15-year-old explaining why teens are so obsessed with Snapchat

But how is this going to be used in a educational environment?

Storytelling

Snapchat is a storytelling platform! Your school could create a Snapchat Story - which is a collection of photos, videos, drawings, text, emoji, that lasts for 24 hours - to give an insight into life at the school.

This authentic narrative gives a glimpse into school-life to parents, prospects, pupils.

Read our blog on 'The Power Of School Stories'

Learning

Snapchat...for learning...seriously!? Yes, of course.

The ephemeral nature of Snapchat enables it to be used as a learning tool to help build memory, and to quickly recall knowledge.

A Snapchat Story quiz. Guess these 10 capital cities. You only have TEN SECONDS to guess each city!

Share your scores with us on Twitter @intSchools!

We have created an interactive, visual quiz using Snapchat - and then uploaded it to YouTube (you can download and store your own snaps!). The quiz is timed, and each participant has 10 seconds to identify which capital city the picture depicts through a series of clues and stats. 

Imagine this: your Geography department could take their class around the world, learning about volcanoes, oceans, continents... all through Snapchat.

"There's always room for a story that can transport people to another place." -J.K. Rowling

Many schools are now equipped with an army of iPads, tablets and smartphones. Instead of fearing these devices, let's embrace them and create now innovate ways to learn! It could help pupils learn a new language, learn algebra, learn the bones of the human body.

Did you know? Apple has sold over 8.5 Million iPad's to schools alone! 

So Why Should We Use It?

Well apart from Snapchat being an immersive storytelling platform, it is also hugely popular!

Let's look at some stats:

  • 100 Million Daily Active Users
  • 400 Million snaps a day
  • 8796 Photos sent a second 

These are big numbers - and since it was first launched in 2011 it has not stopped growing! Expect that to continue.

Understand What Your Children Use

Developing an understanding of Snapchat is surely pivotal when it is such a vital communications tool for many young people.

Even if you are not planning on using Snapchat, you MUST understand it. The problem is that most 'adults' are ignorant of Snapchat. There's negative press about it, which scares people, but why are we all so quick to pass judgement on something we don't understand?

Let's get better at understanding the technology behind the shift behind the radical evolution of children's social behaviour.

So, does your school fear or embrace Snapchat? And what tips would you give to schools that are paralysed by fear of these new, emerging platforms?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!