Last year, our volunteer coordinator created an Instagram for our school. At first I was unsure but then realized this was a positive push in the right direction. After spending a year maintaining the schools’ Instagram site, I realized there were a lot of people we were reaching through Instagram that we weren’t reaching through our school website, Twitter, or Facebook Page.
This got me thinking about our MakerSpace. I share lots and lots of pictures on our schools’ twitter but maybe Instagram is the better platform… I mean Instagram was created as a picture sharing app. So, I decided to jump in and create a page for our MakerSpace!
It didn’t take long before parents, staff members, and students started following our MakerSpace on Instagram. I was super stoked! The next day at school, I excitingly (while still trying to sound cool) mentioned to a 5th grader that I was excited he had started following our page. He looked at me really funny and said, “Yea, it’s cool the MakerSpace has an Instagram now, but you should know you don’t have many followers. My cat has more followers.”
I felt like he had popped my balloon. Seconds earlier I was jumping in the air excited that so many people were following (okay, it was only a little over 30, but still) and now here was a 5th grader commenting on how his cat had more followers! There were so many things I was thinking and wanted to say but instead, I took a deep breath and said, “well maybe you can help me advertise for our MakerSpace Instagram.” He shrugged, and said sure.
Over the next couple of weeks I took a student role and allowed the 5th grader to take on the teacher role as an “Instagram Leader”. I had him be the photographer for many projects that were happening in the MakerSpace. He loved it and was super excited to help. He even taught me about the Boomerang app.
In the end we did increase the number of followers but I realized that the MakerSpace Instagram became more than just the number of followers, how many people we reached, or sharing student projects. It really turned into learning from students and empowering them to be leaders.