We are seeing Instagram become the go-to platform for brands, individuals, and even social media professors. It’s been amazing to see the transformation (and additions) of Instagram Stories [here’s a great guide from Hootsuite] in particular just in the past few months.

As I am preparing for the upcoming spring semester where I will be teaching my social media class (#Freberg18), I know I will be incorporating a lot of these different tools in assignments, lectures, and class activities.

What are some of the ways we, as professionals, can use Instagram both in and out of the classroom? Here are some of the ideas I am working on.

Host an Instagram Live video w/ guests: Instagram now allows you to host a live video feature (which is not necessarily new), but you are able to invite someone to be part of the conversation. This can have many applications for how this can be integrated for classroom and professional purposes.

Have students research, analyze, and report on third party tools to use for Instagram Stories. One exercise to have students work on is to have them research associated apps, tools, and resources that could be used for Instagram Stories, and present them to the class. For example, one tool that can be helpful when it comes to text and placing them into Instagram Stories is Placer Cam.

Storyboard proposals for Instagram Stories. What I think is really cool about Instagram Stories is how these could be strategically applied and used for business and marketing purposes. There are a couple of ways this could be approached. First, students could be broken up into different groups to determine how to use Instagram Stories to promote a contest, fan experience, etc, and create a storyboard to articulate this. Or, students could apply this into their client experience and be able to create a storyboard outlining the specifics of each shot for a client, analyze the metrics, and report the success or findings from this experience.

Integrate polls for class. The Poll stickers are definitely one of the newer features for Instagram, but keep in mind, these are not anonymous. However, you can integrate these into your classes by asking questions about lectures, guest speakers, and ideas for client campaigns. There is still a lot of opportunities that could be integrated into these polls here for classes.

Create mockup ads to integrate into Instagram Stories. Paid media and advertising is definitely a necessary area to cover for social media purposes and in classes. Along with creating organic stories, students can have the opportunity to create ads that could potentially be integrated into Instagram Stories. Having the students work on a strategic brief and discuss the mockup of the ad they have created

Create opportunities for students to become educators themselves. I think with the growing changes we are seeing in this platform specifically, give students the opportunity to teach others how to use the platform. Similar to this particular post from Social Media Examiner.

This is actually part of the process I am going to be focusing on for a NEW class [stay tuned] I am proposing to teach at the University of Louisville in the spring semester.


I think like all tools and platforms, Instagram will continue to evolve and change. What professionals and educators need to know going forward is to learn how to adapt and evolve their classroom practices and lesson plans to address the growing needs and changes. While Instagram has evolved with their Stories, this does not mean to reinvent the wheel all the time.

Some of the associated practices we have seen being implemented with other platforms can be strategically applied here. It just takes some time, and creativity, to think outside of the box. However, this will pay off for everyone.

Hope you all are having a great day.

Best Wishes,