If you are on Twitter and follow any of the same people that I do, you have probably noticed people posting pictures of text, sometimes with highlighting, adding emojis, bitmojis, or text, and then posting it on Twitter with their own comments. Normally if you look at the comments, you will see the hashtag #BookSnaps linked to it. Even if you aren’t on Twitter, you can see what people are posting by clicking this link: Twitter #BookSnaps
If you go to Twitter and check this out, you will probably notice that most of the posts here are educators who are sharing their personalized professional reading with their Twitter followers. If you look closely though, some of what you will find is teachers sharing BookSnaps that students created in their classroom. It got me started thinking about how some of you might be able to use them in your classroom. Check out this student created BookSnap that the teacher then added some additional comments to:
Most of the ones that you see are using SnapChat in order to create and share. For those of you that know what technology your students are using, SnapChat is a pretty popular app. But here’s the thing, there are ways that BookSnaps could be created using other apps that don’t involve the social network aspect of SnapChat. Any app that allows you to pull in your own pictures and add text, drawings, and emojis could be used in the same way. The student created example to the left was created using SeeSaw. Some other examples that come to mind are Skitch, Google Drawings, various PDF annotating apps, and even Instagram.
Think of the potential engagement for your students if you asked them to create their own BookSnaps. Could you imagine what they would say if you told them to open SnapChat or Instagram in class? In ELA classes, you could have students create a BookSnap when they run into a Notice and Note signpost. You could have them create one to identify the climax in the book they’re reading, or create one based on their own writing, identifying specific plot points.
And don’t say “I’m not an ELA teacher, this doesn’t apply.” I could see real potential for BookSnaps in nonfiction reading as well – identifying the main idea in a science article. Sharing things that surprised them as they are reading about some historical figure. Responding to the 3 Big Questions from Reading Nonfiction by Beers and Probst.
I could even see integration into math class – MathSnaps could be a thing (acutally I just checked, and it is a real thing on Twitter)! You could have a kid snap a picture of the answer to a problem and then add text describing how they came to that answer. Or there could be ArtSnaps, MusicSnaps, or GymSnaps. The limitations are only bound by the creativity of how to integrate this technology.
As for how to share, again, the options are probably endless. If you’re already using SeeSaw, that’s an easy option. Other ideas I’ve seen include Google Slide Decks, a class shared PowerPoint (these options allow everyone can see what BookSnaps other kids have created based on the same reading assignment), or even something as basic as emailing it to you (although a way to share with classmates would make the audience so much more authentic and meaningful). Once kids have shared them with you, find a way to share beyond the walls of your classroom. If you’re on Twitter, tweet it out with the #BookSnaps hashtag – others will see it. You could also put it out on Instagram or Facebook – both have people actively using this hashtag. If you don’t have social media, you could have students print them out and put on their locker, or create a BookSnaps bulletin board.
On Martin’s blog, she’s also created some how to videos that could be useful to see how she puts a BookSnap together. Check it out here: http://www.tarammartin.com/resources/booksnaps-how-to-videos/
I know I’ve got some creative people in my audience. If you have an idea for how BookSnaps could be used in the classroom, please share in the comments below. My ideas above are simply ones that have come to me in the past couple of days. You might have something that I haven’t thought of – or possibly never would. Let us know!
If you begin using BookSnaps in the classroom, please share them! Use the #RSIHawks or #RSIReads hashtag in your post!