To find out more about Laura, visit his profile in the Educator of TeachTechPlay community.
I initially stumbled into the teaching world of Instagram because I was seeking inspiration. I had been teaching for nine years and, although I still enjoyed working with my students everyday, I was beginning to feel jaded and wanted something more.
I had been using a personal account for Instagram and was beginning to follow more and more teaching accounts who were inspiring me with their enthusiasm, so decided to jump on board!
Although I loved the information and resources I could discover through other teachers on Twitter, the visual aspect of Instagram was appealing to me. I could jump online at any time and, by searching hashtags such as #aussieteachertribe, #teachersfollowteachers and #downunderteachers, could be directed to valuable resources and ideas that were relevant to the Australian curriculum.
My own Instagram account became a place where I could experiment with different apps, in particular PicMonkey, Canva and Wordswag. I was also able to explore how other people displayed their student’s learning just by taking a minute to scroll through my feed.
A few months later, I began to realise that many Instagrammers were graduate teachers based in Victoria and working in very small schools or were students who were looking for ideas to help them on their placements. I decided to host a small ‘Melbourne Teacher Meet Up’ in a park during the school holidays and arrived with my picnic basket, petrified that no one else would arrive! Thankfully, around 20 teachers attended, travelling from as far as Bendigo, Albury and Geelong. The buzz in the air was amazing and we quickly organised another meet up for the following school holidays.
Since then, we have held a Melbourne Teacher Meet Up every school holidays during 2016-2017. It has been wonderful to establish lasting relationships with different teachers from diverse backgrounds. Many educational companies have generously supported us by providing products that we have used in giveaways and we have also been able to provide a platform for teachers with side businesses to promote their goods.
I have also had the fantastic opportunity to connect with more GAFE schools through Instagram- during our Inquiry research I have asked the Insta community for assistance for collaboration and received a huge response within minutes. My students have been able to collaborate with other schools across Australia on Google Slides and send videos to other classes to participate in a ‘Slow Mystery Skype’.
If you’re also an active Teachergrammer and would like to attend one of our meet ups, follow me at @littleapplelearning and @melbourne_teach_meet
We’d love to see you there!
In Episode 36 of #TTPlay I share how you can Connect to the Teaching Community through Instagram. You can watch it below.