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Technology in the Classroom: 5 Ways to Use Selfies

Janelle Cox

Did you ever imagine that taking a picture of yourself, aka “the Selfie,” would become such a cultural phenomenon? What is it about selfies that people love so much? Maybe it’s because we love to look at pictures of ourselves or how photos help to create memories. Whatever the case may be, selfies have become quite a sensation with students, and we as teachers can take this fun-loving trend and use it to our technology in the classroom advantage. Here are a few simple ways that many teachers have used student selfies as part of their technology in the classroom offerings.

1. Technology in the Classroom: Create Student Goals Using a Selfie

Creating goals is a fantastic way to motivate students to reach for the stars. For this activity, students are going to create short- as well as long-term goals for themselves using their own selfie. To begin, have students take turns using the class tablet to take a selfie. Once they’ve taken their selfie, they must print it out and list all of their short- and long-term goals underneath their photograph. If you want to extend this activity even further, you can have students take another selfie showing their end goal for even more motivation. For example, if a student’s short-term goal was to get an A on their science test, then they would take a selfie holding a science test with an A on it. Or, if a student’s long-term goal was to get on the honor roll, then they would take a selfie holding a report card with honor roll grades on it. This is a great visual reminder for students to stay invested in completing their academic goals. Not to mention, it’s also fun to see your photograph on the bulletin board next to your friends.

2. Make Reading Even More Fun with a Selfie

Take reading to a whole new level by having students create a reading selfie. Reading selfies are a fun way to build students’ confidence, especially for those who struggle with reading. To begin this activity, have students flip the video camera over and record themselves reading a book. If you don’t have a video camera, then you can use a tablet or smartphone. Students can rewatch themselves reading, or they can share their videos with their classmates. Not only will this selfie-style reading help build student’s self-confidence when they read, it’ll also show them how well they’ve progressed over a period of time. However, in order for then to see these statistics, you must have them do a reading selfie a few times a year.

3. Forgo Book Reports and Try Selfie Recommendations

Another great way to use a selfie in class is for students to create book recommendations using a photograph as well as a video of themselves and the book that they’re recommending. All you have to do for this activity is have students turn the camera on themselves to record a short synopsis of the book they’ve just finished. You can have a viewing party of students’ completed videos, or create a classroom bulletin board to capture what students are reading. The bulletin board is meant to serve as a place where students can go to search for book recommendations. Whenever a student is in need of a new book, all they have to do is go to the bulletin board to look for what they want to read next. To extend this activity, you can have students write a brief synopsis of the book and why they recommend reading it underneath their selfie.

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4. Compare and Contrast with Partner Selfies

Teach students how to compare and contrast with a partner selfie. Young students take a selfie with their partner, then record all of the things that they have in common, as well as all of the things that they do not have in common with each other. You can use an app like “The Book Creator” app to make it easy for students to take a partner selfie and record their commonalities and non-commonalities. Once students have recorded their page, it can be made into a digital book where all students can see, hear, and learn all about their classmates.

5. Spice Up Your Poetry Lesson with a Selfie

One staple that many classrooms have is to make their students write an acrostic poem about themselves. For this activity, students must take a selfie and write a poem using their name. Students can easily do this on paper then attach their selfie, but to make it more exciting, you can have them use an app like Canva. In a matter of minutes students can create a selfie poem. Once you have downloaded the app to your classroom tablet, all you have to do is have students take turns taking a selfie. Then, import the picture from the camera roll, add their poem, then print -- it’s that easy. Try choosing a few students to quickly learn the app so they can become the expert and help any students who’re having trouble.

Selfies are a great way to engage students. Whether you use them to capture special moments throughout the school year, to put a fun new spin on your core subjects, or as a means to get to know your students better, selfies are a great motivator to use in the classroom.

Do you use student selfies in your classroom? If so, what are your favorite ways to use them? Please share your technology in the classroom ideas with us in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you on this topic.


Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.