Don’t Let YOUR Comfort Level Hold Your Students Back

This week Instagram released their version of a “story” to their users. A concept made popular by Snapchat. There have been many articles discussing the differences between the two apps. Some of them commending Instagram on its simplicity and ease of use. There was a specific comment in an article  that prompted me to write this post. It stated that

Snapchat’s problem  is that it’s always been confusing and opaque to use. Adults frequently complain they have no idea how to use the service, while generations of millennials gleefully enjoy it without needing to be taught.

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This isn’t a post about the educational use of snapchat. I know our students’ use of the app is not educational purposes. I also know that the skills to navigate any UI or application are invaluable. For the most part, the applications and programs that our students use every day outside of the classroom were never taught to them. They download, tinker, test out and produce amazing pieces of media daily.

As teachers, we sometimes hesitate to allow our learners to use certain apps and tools because we are not comfortable using it ourselves. If there is an educational value, this should not be our excuse. Instead, we should be asking our students to be the experts and teach us. They are the digital natives after all, and we are constantly asking them to step out of their comfort zone. We need to model that risk taking!

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