My Personal journey into media: Snapchat, Instagram and Google Classroom.


Final blog entry

As educators, it is imperative that we have an understanding of apps, the digital world and the programs that our students / teachers are currently using.

For my personal journey into media, I investigated 3 apps. One educational app: Google Classroom and two Social media apps: Snapchat and Instagram.

Young people in the high school area use these social media apps on a regular basis in the school, in the classroom and during their daily social lives. It was very interesting to hear my students voices, their opinions, and thoughts on these educational and social media apps. Some enjoyed social media apps as a way to socialize with their friends and some found social media apps to be time consuming.  What surprised me the most was when it came to looking at educational apps. Student preferred using apps like Google classroom for the  reason that they felt way more comfortable having access to school work at they fingertips via their cell phones. Comments made were that it is really easy, organized and it’s nice to have access to assignments digitally instead of paper based. My students only complaint, they wish that teachers would just stick with one education app, not a whole ton of others at the same time.


More and more educators today have been using education apps like Google Classroom and Remind. Due to this current trend, more and more students have become accustomed and are asked to use these apps during their high school careers.

Review of educational and social media apps


Description, usage and analysis of the app

While reviewing the website of Snapchat, it claims to let its users have easy access to socialize with friends, to share and view Live Stories from around the world, and to explore news in the Discover section. Its basis moto is that life’s more fun when you live in the moment!

Snapchat is an image messaging app that can be accessed through smart phones.  Its main feature is that any message, pictures and videos can be only available a short time before they become inaccessible which encourages natural interaction among its users.

Although Snapchat was originally mainly focused on being private for sharing, it has now changed to varied different sharing tasks. Such as being able to share images, short videos, create caricatures, live video messaging and you can now create Bitmoji avatars. (I love my avatar by the way!)


Something that was total new to me was that how people can create their own filters and it can now show your location on the world map.

Did you know there is Snapchat lingo? When having asked my students about the Snapchat lingo here is what I took from it:

For example:

The Snapcode: This code allows your friends to use a Snapcode. I guess this codes makes adding friends easier.  From what I understand, it’s similar to a QR code.

The Score: That is the number next to a person’s handle in the Snapchat. It’s the number of snaps that a person has sent. The higher your score, the more you likely use Snapchat.

The Snapstreak: This is an emoji next to a Snapchat name….which means they are on a Snapchat streak if you are constantly snapping.

The Trophy case: Did you know you can earn trophies with Snap chat? I didn’t! I guess this encourages the interaction between users.

Terms of service

-Snapchat’s terms of service has been revised for non-American citizens since September 26th of 2017.

-In order to use Snapchat, all users must accepts the Terms and Privacy policy before they are allowed to use the app.

-No one under 13 is allowed to create an account or use Snapchat. (This was a surprise to me….as I have seen younger users use Snapchat!)

-Users cannot copy, distribute, sell, or lease any part of our Snapchat’s Services.

Privacy implications


-Snapchat can use anyone’s image and videos. They do this to improve their services in order to create better ones.

-Snapchat does not take any responsibility. What you share on Snapchat is your responsibility.

-Snapchat encourages you to read their privacy policy. (Nothing is private.)

-They encourage you not to post irresponsibly and to respect others rights. Which means they “discourage” bullying and harassment.

Educational value

It’s hard to believe that Snapchat may have some educational value…but it’s true. (Sigh!)  For instance teachers can use Snapchat for the following purposes:

  • Teachers can use the Snapchat stories for the classroom reminders. Similar to the Remind app, teachers can use this section for reminders of homework, upcoming school events and even show mini lessons.
  • Using Snapchat for classroom discussions. Teachers could example post a topic for a class discussion. The students could ponder this discussion topic and share via Snapchat or later on in the classroom.
  • You can allow students to follow your Snapchat. That does not mean, you have to follow them back. Snapchat allows users to make that decision. (Which is nice because I do not want to see what my students are posting during their personal lives.)
  • Use the 1-20 second Snaps to your story This will keep your Snapchat story all day. You will also be able to see who has viewed your snaps.
  • Using the Snapchat app to make learning fun / engaging: Let your students see your fun side (of course in a professional but fun way.) You can use pictures, speech bubbles etc. to help make the learning process more engaging.

 snapchat teacher

Digital Citizenship concerns and comments

Snapchat “discourages” bad behavior, though they do not take responsibility should it happen.  The DC Education in Saskatchewan Schools would be a beneficial guide in the situation of Snapchat. Teachers could “model” positive Snapchat behavior and have frank discussions about what is acceptable and not acceptable on Snapchat. As well as at the same time, encourage positive DC with students in and outside the classroom.


Description, usage and analysis of the app

Instagram is (for myself) and for some of my students a popular social media app. Comparable to Twitter and Facebook, it is mainly used for sharing videos and pictures on a prolife account and news feed. The users of Instagram can share their pictures / videos privately and or publicly with their pre-approved followers. Instagram allows you to have a private or a public profile account which is quite nice if you want to remain completely private from others.

While reviewing this social media app, students mainly like to use this app for the following:  to take a photograph, to filter the photograph, to add an interesting / funny caption and then share the photo with their followers.

For the past couple of years, Instagram has followed suit similar to Snapchat where it has used the features of video on Instagram stories.  This stories summarize a student’s activities during a day and then the story disappears after 24 hours.

When I made discussions with my students about the possible negatives of Instagram, female students expressed feelings of anxiety when using the app. For instance, my female student users post self-images of themselves on Instagram.  They expressed insecurities and anxiety over their feelings of negative body imaging on Instagram. Either from their followers (friends) or movie stars that they followed. This concerns me as I do not want our students / my daughter having anxiety about self-image. Body image over an app on social media.


Terms of service

-Users of Instagram must be 13 years of age.

-Instagram encourages its users not to use others accounts without others permission.

-The app like Snapchat “discourages” bullying and harassment of others.

-Explains to the users that they own their images and videos, though that Instagram has the right to sell their images (without payment to the user) and videos to others as they wish.

-Your personal information: including your address, friends, pictures, locations you visit, your personal messages on Instagram…pretty much anything that you do and share on Instagram , can be shared from Instagram at any time with companies. (CRAZY!!!)

Privacy implications

Like Snapchat and other social media aps, Instagram users can connect through others via private messages and comments. This can be dangerous if a student is not on a private setting. For instance, if users are on a public setting on Instagram, this leaves them open to potential bullying and harassment for others and strangers.

Because Instagram is mainly focused on the sharing of images, students / children could access inappropriate images and also possibly share inappropriate images of themselves.

Students also have the option to not share their location with others.

Instagram users can change their account to a private setting. Users can also decline or approve their followers which is similar to Snapchat. Students that I had spoken to expressed they they were content that they had control over negative comments by blocking other users from making comments on their Instagram posts.


Educational value

In the past I have played with Instagram in the classroom. It can easily be used (with caution) for the following educational purposes.

1) Show-off Student Work. Take pictures of student novel projects which would be accessible (only) to families and to the community.

2) Capture classroom memories: Take memorable pictures / memories, celebrations of learnings from your classroom on a “classroom” / private Instagram account.

3) Use Instagram for curriculum based / research / classroom projects. Students could research using Instagram / create Instagram boards / posters to display learning and research.

4) Create a lesson via Instagram :Students could follow a lesson, novel study, science experiment, language lesson via images on Instagram.

Digital Citizenship concerns and comments

Similar to Snapchat Instagram “discourages” bad behavior, though they do not take responsibility should it happen.  The DC Education in Saskatchewan Schools would be a beneficial guide in the situation of Snapchat. Teachers could “model” positive Instagram behavior, use this app for celebrations of learning with students. Teachers and students could also continue to have discussions on acceptable usage via Instagram.  This will in end encourage positive DC with students in and outside the classroom with this social media / educational app.

Google Classroom

Description, usage, and analysis of the app

Google Classroom is a free app that was made from the Google name for the school systems. Their apps was to aid teachers and students share educational documents amongst each other. Google lives in our schools either via Google, Google slides and now more and more educators are using Google Classroom.

I began to use Google Classroom last year and this year, it has been a big part of my teaching practices. I truly appreciated the many benefits that this app is having with my students and also within the teaching dynamic between myself and my students.

I find that students can be organized with their assignments while using this application. Students are alaos taking ownership of lost or missied assignments. For instance, a student loses his / her assignment. The student can now simply have direct access to the assignment at any time of the day via the Google Classroom.

I have also noticed that students are quick to hand in assignment submissions because of the reminders on Google Classroom. There are also concerns (from my students) when they see the LATE in red when an assignment has not been submitted on time. Due to this LATE feature, students are taking initiative to hand in their assignments on time. Especially if I give an assignment to be due at midnight instead of at the end of the class period.

I find that the Google Classroom sets a nice tone for the classroom and the way its organized meaning that the students know what to expect and if ever they forgot, they may check the Google classroom to re-find and look at notes and previous assignments.

I truly love Google Classroom as do other teachers in my school. Though do the students truly love it? Is it fair that I have students hand in assignments via Google Classroom? Is it a positive teaching practice to print assignments for student but to also display the assignment on Google classroom in case a student loses them?


The positives of Google Classroom from students:

-The class is organized and sectioned off nicely.

-It can be accessed anywhere with WIFI / internet. For instance a student is away or sick they still have access to what they missed at any time.

-Students expressed that they look for daily announcements…they said they appreciated this routine.

-Students expressed they like the collaboration component of the app. Any student / group can collaborate on a document for a project or assignment.

-Students shared that (after some practice with Google Classroom) it became easy to submit assignments. They also enjoyed receiving feedback on assignments once they were returned via Google classroom.

-Less paper in the classroom means great for the environment.

The negatives of Google classroom from students:

-The set-up of Google Classroom is a long process.

-If the internet is down, students’ are unable to do the work assigned, unless it is on print already.

-Students have confessed to copying / plagiarizing other students past assignments via Google Classrooms and Google documents.

-Students expressed: “Why must every class have a Google Classroom”

Educational value

-Again many educators love this app for the reason that it organizes a classroom.

-Students and parents shared frustrations that their child is always needing to access the internet / their mobile device for school work.

-There are of course positives and negatives effects (seen above) on teaching and learning with Google Classroom.

-What is the reality and perception and the impacts on education when we use Google Classroom in the classroom setting with our students?  Not everything has to be technology based “all the time” in the classroom.

Terms of service and privacy implications

Google does not “clearly” provide a complete breakdown of what is takes / collects from students in terms if service and privacy policy.

Google Classroom states that they do not technically use student profiles when students use GAFE (Google Apps for Education) services. Though if a student logged on to You Tube (a popular site for teens) then Google would observe the data….from what I could find.

Students and teachers are technically being “studied” and observed on what they are going with Google and Google Classroom.


Digital Citizenship concerns and comments

Google Classroom and Google are essentially a money making machine. Google has branded itself in man schools within my division with Google Classroom, Google Chromes books, Google Slides and of course You Tube.

When thinking about Digital Citizenship, educators, schools and the community need to be questioning policies, terms and services from big companies like Google on what information that they are using from students/ teacher to increase their brand and market.

Furthermore, Google Classroom similar to the social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram, if used properly, can encourage positive online behavior.  The DC Education in Saskatchewan Schools would be a beneficial guide for the promotion of Google Classroom. Teachers again could “model” positive online behavior, use this app to organize the classroom and promote more learning with students. Teachers and students could also continue to have discussions on acceptable usage via Google Classroom.  This will in end encourage positive DC with students in and outside the classroom with this educational app.

Final words on my personal journey into media

I really appreciated this course this semester and learned so much from Dr. Alec Couros and my fellow classmates.  Digital Citizenship is not simply a black and white scenario. Technology changes at fast speeds and with it comes challenges. And as technology continues to grow, more and more educators and students continue to use varied educational and social media apps. If used correctly and in a positive manner, technology creates an engaging and authentic learning environment. We cannot fear technology as it is something that is simply not going to disappear. What we can do as educators, is to educate ourselves about the importance of DC, to integrate DC meaningfully in the classroom and to help our students become positive digital citizens.

Thanks for an amazing semester and a send off to my final grad class!



More research on my journey with media

HI EC&I 832,

I have been learning a lot about social media and education apps! The journey has been an interesting process especially when I have been surprised about privacy policies within all three apps……nothing is really private and all owners of these apps can give and sell what you post to other companies! CRAZY!


I have been having many great discussions with my students on the positives and the negatives of these apps. Next week I plan on interviewing students individually on their thoughts. I have come up with a variety of questions, tough I am wondering what questions you may have fellow EC & I 832?

Please post a comment after you read my interview questions.

Thanks so much! I’m looking forward to hear what questions you may have.


Snapchat (Social Media App)

  1. Why do you like Snapchat? (Social media App)
  2. What don’t you like about Snapchat?
  3. What do you post on Snapchat?
  4. How many times a day do you use Snapchat?
  5. What do you post on Snapchat (in stories or messages) and why?
  6. What are your privacy concerns  about Snapchat? (Privacy / cyberbullying)
  7. Do you trust your friends on snapchat?
  8. Are you aware about Snapchat’s privacy policy and user services?
  9. Do you build and maintain friendships on Snapchat?
  10. When looking to see who has viewed your Snapchat Story, which do you value more, the number or views, or the specific people who view it?
  11. Do you think you over use Snapchat? Explain?
  12. Do you ever get annoyed with Snapchat? Explain.
  13. What’s the best Social media app between Snapchat & Instagram? Explain

Instagram (Social media App)

  1. What do you like about Instagram?
  2. What don’t you like about Instagram?
  3. What do you post on Instagram?
  4. How many times a day do you use instagram?
  5. What kind of photos do your friends usually post on Instagram?
  6. Do you trust your friends on Instagram?
  7. Are you aware of Instagram’s privacy policy and user services?
  8. What are your privacy concerns  about Instagram? (Privacy / cyberbullying)
  9. Do you trust your friends on Instagram?
  10. Do you build and maintain friendships on Instagram?
  11. When looking to see how many followers , or who has viewed your Instagram Story, which do you value more, the number or views, or the specific people who view it?
  12. Do you think you over use Instagram? Explain?
  13. Do you ever get annoyed with Instagram? Explain.
  14. What’s the best Social media app between Snapchat & Instagram? Explain

Google Classroom (Educational App)

  1. What do you like about GOOGLE CLASSROOM?
  2. How many of your teachers use GC?
  3. What don’t you like about GC?
  4. Would you prefer receiving assignments via GC or via paper from the teacher?
  5. Do you prefer receiving feedback via GC or from your paper assignment?
  6. How many times a day do you use GC?

7) Are you aware of GC’S  privacy policy and user services?

8) What are your privacy concerns  about GC? (Privacy / cyberbullying)

9) Do you think GC makes classroom more engaging? Less engaging? Explain?

10) Do you think your teacher over uses GC? Explain?

11) Do you ever get annoyed with GC? Explain.

There’s a Snapchat etiquette?!?!

Hi all!

Working on my major project!

snap 6

So I have a confession! I just turned the BIG 40 this year and I guess you could say I qualify as “old” to my students. For my major project I have been researching Snapchat (social media) and Google Classroom (Ed tech) with my students.

I added Snapchat ….I think 2-3 years ago. The main reason for creating an account was to:

  1. Check what the hype was all about.
  2. To have the domain name: kristabgates


When I first downloaded the app, I was confused on how to use it. I kept asking myself… the heck is this such a popular app? Why is it cool to take a picture and then it disappear into the digital world? It never made sense.

For the past 2 years, I have close friends on Snapchat. Mainly to take funny pictures and send to educator friends funny faces. Sometimes I delete the app because I never use it. Though for this major project I have begun to look deeper into this famous Snapchat app.

I found a funny article from Buzzfeed of all places entitled: You’re Old If You Don’t Know This Basic Snapchat Etiquette.

I didn’t know there was an etiquette to it?!?!?!?

Rule # 1: If someone /friends snap you and you don’t snap back it is considered rude.  I have for sure failed at this. If teacher friends or  friends snap me it takes me hours / days to open their snap or even respond.

Photo source 

Rule # 2: The uglier snaps you send, the better and closer the relationship you have. I think I passed this rule. I send only the ugliest snaps to my closest of friends.


Rule # 3: Streaks matter a lot.

First of all, what are streaks???? Must ask my students for my research purposes for my major project.

Rule # 4: If you’re dating a person, you must have a yellow heart to their name.

That’s cute! But I am married. Must I have a different coloured heart if I am married?

Photo source 

Rule # 5: Do not screenshot other people’s stories and snaps and then post them on other social media platforms.

This rule makes sense. It sounds like If you break this rule, you are breaching someone’s’ privacy without their consent. Though if you use Snapchat and are sharing openly, you are risking sharing too much information to others. (Must ask my students about this.)

Rule # 6: Don’t make your Snapchat story too long.

What? There’s a Snapchat story? What is the difference between a Snapchat and Snapchat story? Must ask my students about this one… do I even create a Snapchat story?

Photo source

Rule # 7: Do not post a story every 5 seconds of doing literally nothing.

Who has time to do that?

Though I wonder how much of my students do this on a daily basis? How and when do they find the time to do this? And what are they snapping all the time of?

Rule # 8: If you post something to your story, you should not send it separately to someone.

This Snapchat story is intriguing. Again, what the heck is it?

Rule # 9: Filters are for when you’re trying to look cute for a friend. This is mainly the dog filter.

How the heck is this a cute filter? (LOL).


Rule # 10: Don’t post landscape pictures.

Why the heck not? We are from Saskatchewan and we have the best landscape pictures on the planet?!?!

Photo source

Rule # 11: Use a geotag once while you’re somewhere, not in every single snap.

I just discovered geotags. Very cool. I would probably over use them!


Rule # 12: Do not respond to someone’s snap and then not respond to their text.

Really? But I already messaged you via snap! I have to respond again via text? That’s multitasking galore!

Rule # 13: If you respond to a person’s snap after many hours, remind them of what they said in a previous snap.

I guess Snapchat doesn’t save conversations and people won’t remember what they said or sent!? ! Crazy!

Photo source

Rule # 14: If you’re going to a concert, don’t snap the whole concert.

Again…..I would be guilty of this! I love concerts.

Rule # 15: Don’t lie and say you’re sick and then post a snap of you hanging with friends.

You’re busted for sure!!!!!

Photo source

Rule # 16: Don’t watch your ex’s story unless you’re trying to get them back.

What? You can see who has watched a story?!? Need to find out more about Snapchat story.

Rule # 17: If you’re flirting with someone via Snapchat wait a few minutes before opening their snap and responding.

It’s been over 15 years since I have been in the dating game. This sounds like torture!

Rule # 18: If you’re crush doesn’t respond to your snap with 2 hours they are not interested.

Reminds me of a book I read years and years ago….He’s Just Not That Into You! ….But that was via a phone call over the phone. ….I am old!

Photo source

Rule # 19: Don’t post snaps at the gym

I agree with this 110%. It is never a pretty site to see me on the treadmill.

Rule # 20: If someone is bothering you or creeping on you block them.

Are their stalkers on snaps? How do kids know when someone is creeping on them?!?! (Must ask my students!)

Rule # 21 Nobody will get tired of pet snaps.

This makes total sense.

Photo source

After reading this, I am for sure old because I had no idea about the Snapchat etiquette. I have a lot to ask my students about this.

Until next time.


P.S: Does anyone know the number next to my Snapchat profile name mean? Have I taken too many silly pictures that I’ve sent to friends?


Instagram : the social app!

Instagram : the social app!


I have been using Instagram since the birth of my son Connor in 2010. It was mainly just to take keep sake memories of my children and family.

Nowadays I see my students using it on a daily basis hence why I am curious to research why they are currently using the app. .

Have any of you had students voluntarily tell you they have Google’ed you? Or instgtam’ed you?  I guess my students have. And even though I am on strict privacy settings on my Social media app Instagram, students are able to see my profile picture and the amount of Instagram posts that I have made…I guess over 4,000 posts is quite a bit from what I am told!

I read a blog post from blogger and Instagram user @annamcnaughty who wrote the unwritten rules of Instagram.

THE DO’S on Instagram :

Be consistent in your posting – which means in the styles, subject matter and themes.

Always edit your photos before posting on Instagram – I guess in high school, all postings must be edited.

Be vigilant of posting times. (I succeeded at this one)

It’s important to post 3 times a day in order to grow your Instagram.  Post in the morning and in the evenings.

Quality over quantity – Don’t post If you have nothing really to share. (I have failed at this one)…..I post daily about my family.

Be creative and weird – I guess I post creative pictures…of landscapes….does tis count?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions in your comments – Talk with your followers! Ask questions and feel free to discuss instead of just scrolling on Instagram.

Be funny on Instgram – Use captions with your photos.

Use the story section on Instagram.  (I just discovered this this year. It’s quite neat and I am still trying to figure this one out.) It’s like sharing a quick announcement.

Engage with friends, family and people – always comment back, reach out to your followers admire and always keep in contact you’re your followers.


Think about your audience – use new hashtags, check out what others are doing, and always stay up on the trends.

Add a Location – This will engage your followers. (I do this when I travel.)

Anyone can access your pictures if it is not a private account– Be vigilant with is one.

THE DON’TS of Instgram

Don’t overuse hashtags –is you hashtag everything anybody has access to your photos.

Don’t post low-quality Photos –Always post quality pictures.

Don’t use borders! It is no longer cool to use borders…I failed at this one.

Don’t overuse filters! – Do not do it! ( I have failed at this one).

Don’t pay for followers or likes – I did not even know that you can do that!!!!!! What a waste of money!

Don’t allow ghosts to follow you – If you see that you have ghost, make sure that you block them! Half of them are fake, dangerous and will steal your images.

Don’t DM everyone – use DM with discretion

Don’t post a bunch of photos in a row – Again I have failed at this one.


This Social media app is way over my head. I have failed all the Do’s and don’ts.

What concerns me the most, is so many students have open accounts and do not privatize their accounts. Which means anyone has access to their accounts.

A worrisome thought.





Remind: the positives and the negatives from me (the teacher)

Remind: the positives and the negatives from me (the teacher)

Final project work and an educational add called Remind.

I have been using Remind on and off for a couple of years. When it first came about it was called Remind 101. Now they have converted to the name Remind.

Due to the many education apps that are out there, I have steered off from Remind until this year to research it for our EC & I 832 course.

I begin with the positives of using Remind in your classroom:

-It’s nice to be able to update your students about upcoming school events that are happening in the school and community.  It’s also nice to send reminders about upcoming tests and projects.


-Students do not need to have access to a smart phone. They can receive these Remind messages via their email or their parents email.

-Students do not need to download the app. They can join by simply a sent message from the teacher.

-Parents and their children can join via email address. They both have the option to receive Remind messages via email or text messages.

-I find that Remind keeps the parents involved in communication between myself the teacher and the student.

-As a teacher, I can send Remind messages from both the phone and my computer. It’s very accessible.

-A nice option for this app is no one has access to each other’s cell phone numbers. Students also do not have access to teacher’s phone numbers. No messaging to the teacher.

-As teachers we can schedule messages in advance. It’s great for planning.

-Teachers can send an unlimited amount of messages to classes / students.

-I found that this app saved time and paper!


Now the negatives:

-If you use Remind from your phone (Teacher’s phone) you need to download the app.

-(A negative / positive) messages are one way only. Students / parents cannot reply to a teacher’s message.

-There is a limit on your message of 140 characters.

-Remind can gather information from all its users to improve their customer service. Which means not all your information (the teachers) is kept confidential and may be given to third party vendors.

-Students are not as keen as they used to be when you request them to use the app.


Again due to the many education apps out there, remind has taken to the way side, though it can still be a quick and valuable tool to send quick messages and reminders to students.

Remind you to check out Remind!


News flash: an update on my major project! My personal journey / critically looking at Snapchat & Google Classroom.

Hi EC&I 832!

When thinking about digital literacy and Mike Ribble’s 9 elements of digital citizenship, my main goal is to understand and to critically look at the following applications that my students are using for social media and educational purposes. I am critically exploring the application of SnapChat and Instagram. My students are constantly using this social media app and I am curious to see if my students are aware of their own digital citizenship while they use it on a daily basis. I am also wanting to critically look at Google Classroom and Remind to see if they are critical and useful tools to use in our classrooms.  As educators it is important that we critically evaluate and understand the educational tools that we are using with our students. It is also important to help our students critically analyse and understand the social media apps that they are using.

As Dr. Alec Couros suggested, how do Mike Ribble’s 9 elements of Digital citizenship relate to my major project?

Digital access: as technology users we need to be aware that not everyone has access to technology. For my Google classroom and Remind, is it truly fair that I ask all my students to join and share their work and my own work on these platforms? Do they all have access to a smart phone or a computer? What if my student does not feel comfortable using technology? How can I teach my students to be comfortable with technology?  It is a reminder as a teacher that not all my students will have access to tech. How can I make sure my students have an equal opportunity with technology?

Digital commerce: Ribble reminds us that we are part of a market community when we use technology. Google is in fact a huge asset to the internet. Everything is Google and by me using it in the classroom I am endorsing The Google all the time. What are the legal and legitimate exchanges that are occurring when I use Google classroom and Remind with my students?

kg google class

Digital communication: has changed due to the many changes and the ability to communicate with so many other people with so many methods of communication such as cell phones, messaging etc. I and my students are in constant communication with each other via social media apps like Snapchat and educations apps like Google classroom and Remind. Students are not able to control their own communication. They are constantly taking random pictures and Snapchat and Instagram messaging each other every minute of the hour in classrooms or throughout their daily routines. Many students have not been taught how to make appropriate decisions when they have access to so many social media aps. Myself, with the Google Classroom, I can give direct feedback to students on their assignment anytime. Is it healthy for my students and for myself to use digital / direct feedback digitally? Though on the other hand, I can communicate with my students on a daily basis when they do not have access face to face. If a student is away ill, they have direct access to documents via our digital classroom and can contact me anytime should they have questions. Is this healthy digital communication?

Digital literacy: Ribble reminds us about the importance of teaching about technology and the use of technology. As teachers it is important that we integrate Ed tech in the classrooms, not just for the sake of it, but meaningfully infusing it in the classroom in all subject areas. This would be meaningful to teach students about how to literally use Google Classroom, Remind, Instagram and Snapchat meaningfully and carefully. And at the same time teaching about DC.

Digital etiquette: Unfortunately, many of my students are unaware of how to conduct themselves properly while using social media apps like Snapchat and Google classroom. I see students daily sending inappropriate messages and images via Instagram and  Snapchat. I actually had one student who began sending inappropriate comments via Google classroom. (I blocked his comments.) Ribble discusses that many people are uncomfortable talking to others about digital etiquette. The goal for my major project would be how can we make students feel comfortable to talk about their own digital etiquette? We can’t simply take away cell phones from our students (or block their comments), we will need to find ways to teach our students on how to become responsible digital citizens while using Snapchat, Instagram, Remind and Google classroom.

kg snap

Digital law: There are many unethical situations that my students are finding themselves in trouble due to the damage from bullying or from stealing each other’s property such as cell phones. Plagiarism is another huge problem where students are copying from another’s student’s work or from the internet. How do we teach students to abide digital law?

Digital Rights & Responsibilities: We all have the rights to privacy and must also understand that the technology that we use has to be used responsibly. While using Snapchat, Instagram, Remind and Google Classroom how do I ensure my students identity and work is kept private? With Snapchat how do I ensure my students are being responsible that they are not taking pictures without someone’s consent?

Digital health & wellness: How do we teach our students to protect themselves?  How do we teach our students (ourselves) to psychologically and physically take care of our own digital health? Are we obsedded with social media apps like Instagram, Snapchat? Is it healthy that I am / my students are using Remind, Google Classroom on a daily basis?

Digital security / self-protection: Ribble suggests that we take electronic precautions to guarantee our own safety. How do we teach our students to become aware of what and who they share with on social media apps like Instagram and  Snapchat? Who has access to all their photos? How can we properly teach our students on how to protect themselves from others that may try to cause harm to them? How do I ensure my students work and identity is kept secure while using Remind and  Google Classroom?

What does this all mean for my major project / my personal journey into media?

  1. Continue to explore the educational app Google Classroom and Remind with my students.
  2. Explore the social app Snapchat and Instagram with my students and myself.
  3. Document the findings from these 2 educational and social apps) via blog posts, surveys, pictures and videos in regards to effective communication, education, social media, digital citizenship, privacy, concerns and positive effects of all apps in and out of the classroom setting.



That Google Classroom, Remind, Instagram and Snapchat are lit!

Hola! Bonjour fellow EC&I 832 classmates!

My name is Krista Gates and I am a teacher of languages. I teach French Immersion and Spanish at the high school level and I love to take traveling adventures with my students and my own family.

krista paris

I completed my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction in the summer of 2015 and I am currently working on my last class for my Master’s certificate in TESOL, where I have been mainly focusing on Second Language Acquisition.

Even though I have blogged before I currently have the case of “mom brain”. It seems like I am trying to remember everything about blogging all over again. Though I am super pumped to be taking another class with Dr. Alec Couros and yourselves!


The main purpose of my blog post this week is to share and outline my major project. I have decided to do option 2: my personal journey into media. As a teacher / mother, I think it is super important to have an understanding of the digital world and the many apps and programs that our students and in fact that our own children are using.

I am looking at this project as a professional and also a personal journey into social media, and what it means to be a digital citizen. The educational apps which I will investigate are Google Classroom, and Remind. I will be using these apps during the second semester with my students and of course I am always curious to see how this will impact education and learning with regards to communication. I am also wondering how I can use these apps more effectively for educational purposes.

Google classroom


The apps that I am also curious to examine with my students and myself are Snapchat and Instagram. I have personally used Instagram for a few years and enjoy posting about family memories. For Snapchat I just created an account out of curiosity a couple of years ago. Though in my teaching world, I see students using these apps on a daily basis and I am always curious to fully understand the social aspects of these popular social media apps. I am also curious to see if our students are truly aware of their own privacy, their own digital citizenship while using these apps since Snapchat and Instagram continue to be used for sexting and bullying.

My steps for the major project (Personal journey into media) will be (hopefully) as follows:

  1. Explore the educational apps that will be used in my classroom. (Google Classroom & Remind).
  2. Explore the social apps (Snapchat and Instagram)with my students and myself.
  3. Document the findings from all 4 educational and social apps) via blog posts, surveys, pictures and videos in regards to effective communication, education, social media, digital citizenship, privacy, concerns and positive effects of all apps in and out of the classroom setting.


I look forward to investigate our digital world that our students and our children use on a daily basis.
Has anyone ever used these apps personally and professionally?

Thanks! Gracias! Merci!