Snapchat in the Classroom?

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480px-Snapchat_Logo.pngRecently, I read an article in the New York Times about Snapchat, the video messaging app that has barnstormed its way toward valuations in the billions of dollars. The article’s title, “Snapchat: A New Mobile Challenge for Storytelling,” caught my attention and got me looking around the Snapchat site and watching some of their “stories.” The ones I watched were mostly reportorial, with someone giving information accompanied by images. But they got me wondering about other kinds of stories and how they might be told and circulated via Snapchat.

One aspect of the app—its claim that snaps are deleted after 24 hours and can’t be retrieved—has been challenged by some who say that nothing on the Web is completely irretrievable, and by others who object to the cursory nature of snaps. Privacy issues aside, I like the idea of the ephemeral nature of Snapchat postings since it seems to open a special space for experimentation and creativity. I’m much more interested in this aspect of Snapchat than in the ability to “follow” people (aka celebrities), as detailed in a Time article on viral Snapchat stars.

I also like the way this app demands multimodality—telling stories with words and images. And I’d particularly like to hear whether Snapchat is being used in classrooms. So, if you have any information on this topic, please let me know!

About the Author
Andrea A. Lunsford is the former director of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric at Stanford University and teaches at the Bread Loaf School of English. A past chair of CCCC, she has won the major publication awards in both the CCCC and MLA. For Bedford/St. Martin's, she is the author of The St. Martin's Handbook, The Everyday Writer and EasyWriter; The Presence of Others and Everything's an Argument with John Ruszkiewicz; and Everything's an Argument with Readings with John Ruszkiewicz and Keith Walters. She has never met a student she didn’t like—and she is excited about the possibilities for writers in the “literacy revolution” brought about by today’s technology. In addition to Andrea’s regular blog posts inspired by her teaching, reading, and traveling, her “Multimodal Mondays” posts offer ideas for introducing low-stakes multimodal assignments to the composition classroom.