Instagram TV for Teachers: A New Medium for PD and Inspiration

Technology Tips

Instagram TV for Teachers: A New Medium for PD and Inspiration

By Monica Burns     Oct 1, 2018

Instagram TV for Teachers: A New Medium for PD and Inspiration

Video is a powerful medium for communicating information—and as teachers know, students love using it, especially YouTube. From a viral video with a clip reminiscent of America’s Funniest Home Videos, to explainer videos and tutorials, YouTube is full useful (and silly) content.

But there is a new video medium that I’m super excited about. I think it has the potential to provide teachers with actionable information, including classroom strategies, lesson ideas and tips to support their professional growth. It’s called IGTV and it was launched earlier this year as a new way to “inspire, educate and entertain.” And in addition to providing a new way consume information, this platform can empower every user as a storyteller and creator of content.

What is IGTV?

IGTV is a new platform from the folks at Instagram. Instead of individual posts or Instagram Stories, which combine still images and very short video clips, IGTV hosts longer videos, usually centered around one clear topic. They feel more like episodes that aren’t necessarily specific to something that happened just in one small moment in the way Stories are. Users can access IGTV channels created by the accounts they follow right from Instagram. Alternatively, you can download a separate IGTV app where you can access all of the videos from people you follow.

IG: @classtechtips

How it works

As a consumer, all you need is an Instagram account and an app for accessing IGTV. You don’t need to have a public profile or even post pictures; but you do need to follow people. When you follow someone who creates video for IGTV the videos will pop up in your app. The newest videos pop up first, then the most recent videos will play back in the order they were posted.

As a creator, educators (or anyone) can create a short vertical video up to 10 minutes long and upload it to their IGTV channel right from their phone. So you can record a video talking straight into your phone, or get a little fancier by using video editing tools. I usually create a title slide then add my video recording. I use IGTV to create a video version of my weekly newsletter and to feature special tips. One of my most popular videos is under three minutes and gives viewers an update on a new feature from Adobe Spark Page. In the video I give a quick overview of the new feature and share a few classroom strategies. (You can check out my Instagram page here.)

Educators to Follow

This summer I’ve followed along as other educators, including my fellow ASCD author Eric Sheninger, have explored IGTV. He is using it to transform his weekly blog post into video form. When I asked Eric about his interest in IGTV he told me, "The power of video is undeniable. A one minute video is equal to roughly 1.8 million written words. It brings more context to ideas and can help to flesh out practical strategies for implementation in our schools to improve teaching, learning, and leadership." Eric is the co-author of “Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today,” so it’s no surprise he’s embraced this medium.

Lisa Johnson is an Apple Distinguished Educator, and the author of “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom.” She shares lots of ideas on her Instagram account around bullet journaling and planners. When her followers started asking about the process behind her posts, Lisa started using IGTV to share more information. I spoke to Lisa about IGTV and she told me a little about her process. "I create longer tutorial videos that are uploaded directly to IGTV. All of the videos are easily located within the IGTV button from my Instagram account now." Lisa is all about sharing resources and I first connected with after admiring her extensive Pinterest presence.

And the list of educators to watch is definitely growing. Gary R. Gray, Jr. shares a look into his classroom and tips for new teachers. Claudio Zavala shares tutorials on video editing and photography.

Inspiration for Teachers

Video can help a speaker connect with an audience and demonstrate a concept. With short videos like IGTV episodes, content creators can connect with a larger audience of educators. As a blogger who focuses on sharing educational technology tips, I always want to make sure this information is actionable. Although some people prefer to read a few hundred words on a topic, others like to hear from the author and see a few examples pop up on the screen.

The consumable videos increasingly available on IGTV are perfect for educators looking for a quick overview, a new idea or a solution to a problem. It’s not about replacing books, articles, or blog posts. It’s about providing a medium for more people to easily access information. The explainer videos, tutorials and short video messages we know from YouTube are making their way to IGTV. I hope you’ll jump into this platform to learn, share and connect with educators around the world!

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