Snapchat in School: 5 Outstanding Reasons Schools Should Snap

snapchat in school is a volatile subject

This post, “Snapchat in School” recently got a refresh so I want to take a second to outline the content.  I also created a table of contents of sorts so you can dig into the content that is most relevant to you.

This post includes:

The updates include two new videos.

Get your super snapchat video here

The first I created for school leaders because they asked me to create it.  If you have ever wondered how the app actually works, this video is for you.

Snapchat has a steep learning curve and I try to make it a little easier for you via the video.  It is super in depth and is just under 16 minutes long (a lot meat in this video!).  Click here to go there now!

The second video is how Brendon Phillips uses snapchat at the University of Albany in New York to engage students on their college campus.  I really enjoyed this video too.  It should give some school leaders an idea of how to use snapchat in school.

Snapchat in School: Let the Fight Begin!

Snapchat in school can be a volatile subject since most school leaders believe an archaic view of it. Back in the day it had the reputation for being a sexting app and that reputation stuck. However, the power of Snapchat is found in the “stories” which make it one heck of an entertaining app.

What was the last engaging conference you attended?  Who was the best speaker?  I bet the speaker was the best because she used stories.  This is also the power of Snapchat.

PRO TIP >>> Using snapchat is actually called “snapping” or sending a “snap.”

Maybe you got here by searching snapchat in school or how to make a story in snapchat …

Or you saw this on Twitter, FB, LinkedIn and clicked over.

Or maybe you’re on my email list to get updates from the blog and podcast as well as get a bunch of free resources.

Lesson #1 … when you get on snapchat you send snaps.

Good.  Now your students will understand you and I can continue this guide: snapchat in school.

snapchat in school using the iphone

What is snapchat?

Well it’s the social media app you don’t use, but all your students do.

I’m not going to explain it here when someone smarter and more entertaining has made a vlog about it.

Check out how Casey Niestat (one of my all-time fav influencers) explains snapchat in the following 6 minute video. 👇👇👇

Warning there are a few curse words in the video so if that bothers you don’t press play 😇

Highlights from the video

0:28 Describes a brief history of social media

1:11 Young people describe Snapchat

1:29 What is Snapchat? Casey describes

1:36 The power of snapchat stories

1:50 What is a snapchat story?

2:08 Why Snapchat is worth $10 billion (best video platform for mobile)

2:24 Stories are in the moment and authentic … they are not over edited or filtered. They are raw.

2:43 Story of Jerome Jarre who has > 1 million followers on Snapchat (that’s a million more than me).

Snapchat in School: Sexting or Stories?

Yes … 4-5 years ago sexting was a real problem and it probably still is a problem, but kids will do inappropriate things through a variety of ways outside of Snapchat.

Yes kids still bully on Snapchat, but they do that face-to-face too.

If you block Snapchat in school, students are still going to explore and get themselves in trouble.

Or they are going to download this app and by-pass your blocker at school anyway.

Get your super snapchat video here

You didn’t know that did you? Sorry!

More importantly

If you listened at all to the video above, what were kids really after?

A) Nude Pics
B) Nude Pics
C) Connecting and sharing their day with friends
D) Nude Pics

The correct answer is C … kids want to connect. They want to be known and they want to share their authentic stories via stories on snapchat.

If you remember back to your days in school what did you enjoy the most? It was connecting with friends. It was the social aspect. If you are serious, school wasn’t only about learning (and I love learning!), it was really about connecting!

In Casey’s video I love how one young man describes the power of stories in snapchat, “You can let your friends live your day with you” and I have found that to be true.

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What I love about snapchat

In addition to the stories feature there are a number of reasons I love Snapchat:

Taking pics and adding captions

I added this pic to my story while writing this blog.

writing this post: snapchat in school

I sent this to a friend who brought me leftover Chinese for lunch.

how to make a story on snapchat with chinese food

Connecting to new people and learning about their lives

I’ve already made friends on Snapchat and I’ve enjoyed texting them, helping them, and watching their stories. I think stories are so interesting too because it’s like reality TV without the BS.

Isn’t it weird how awful people on reality TV are?

It’s actually not that weird.

Many people are entertained by foolishness. I appreciate connecting with REAL people trying to do something special through their art or sharing their experiences. It’s refreshing.

Get your super snapchat video here


This is pure silliness. Click the 5 second video below.



5 reasons school leaders should use snapchat in school

1) All your students are on it.

I predict that the schools and school leaders that utilize social media the best will win. By winning I don’t mean they have the highest test scores, because that really doesn’t matter.

By winning I mean that they will meet their students where they are at and form deep connections resulting in bigger influence in their students’ lives.

With greater influence we have a chance to create human beings that have grown in what counts: empathy, collaboration, leadership, problem-solving, etc.

2) Tell “stories” through videos and pictures

You know how students think it’s weird when they see a teacher or administrator at the grocery store?

That’s because they have no idea that you are a real person. Show them what you do during your day-to-day. Who knows … you might even inspire some of your talented students to become future educators and leaders!

3) Pull back the curtain

One of the main reasons kids love Snapchat is because it’s so simple and raw. You can’t over produce it. It’s an app that says, “Here I am. Love me or hate me.” It’s simple, fun, and it works.

4A) Develop Greater School Pride Part A

A student has a choice between two schools.

At School A Snapchat is welcomed by the school leaders.

At School B it isn’t.

Which school is more relevant to the student? Which school will she feel more connected to?

4B) Develop Greater School Pride Part B

Imagine if a school leader interviewed 10-20 students and added it to a story on Snapchat (what was the best part of the day … or the worse) … are you telling me students wouldn’t watch while developing a greater pride and connection to the school?

What if a school leader snapped school sports games, assemblies, drama performances, etc. using his position to gain access behind the scenes of these events. That would be some great school snapping’!

5) Snapchat encourages fun

I already wrote about lenses and the silliness. In addition to lenses a school leader could introduce fun into the school environment by having contests.

What if the principal, teacher, etc. had a Snapchat question of the day with some type of prize at the end of the day, week, etc.?

Schools could use scavenger hunts, called SnapHunts, and offer prizes as a result of completing the SnapHunt.

Read how GrubHub used a SnapHunt to engage customers here.

Read how colleges and universities are using Snapchat here.

Are you a glass half full or glass half empty person?

Get your super snapchat video here

I know there are some scary reasons a school leader might not want to Snap. Shoot … you can read here about a Superintendent that got in trouble using a similar texting service.

But what makes me sad about this article is that it is a greater commentary on our society. Why is it that so many people assume the worst instead of the best of intentions?

I refuse to live in a world like that.

I choose good will.

I choose love.

I choose to believe that people are more benevolent than they are nefarious.

Start Snapping!

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Ultimate Snapchat in School Video Tutorial

To watch the video below, make sure you click the “Get Your Super Snapchat Tutorial” button. The tutorial is value packed and 15 minutes long.

Get your super snapchat video here

 Snapchat in School Tutorial

How the University of Albany Uses Snapchat

The video below has no sound and is less than 2 minutes long.  In snapchat you can touch your screen to advance the images faster, but you obviously can’t do that here.

This video shows a competition run by Brendon Phillips and his team at the University Auxiliary Services at Albany.  Their goal was to engage students via Snapchat.  The prize was some University of Albany swag!

Calls to Action

Watch this 1 minute video on how to make a Snapchat story.

I made this video for teachers in a recent email …

Also … add me on snapchat: or by clicking my picture below and add me as a snap code.

snapchat in school is daniel predicts will lead to stronger relationships


Leave a comment below … do you think that school leaders should use snapchat? Why or why not?

If you enjoyed the post, Snapchat in school … , then I would be honored if you commented and shared on social media.

Daniel E. Bauer is a BOSS


Skype: betterleadersbetterschools

Twitter / Facebook / Google+ / Linkedin / Snapchat

I help school leaders Create a Winning Culture, Focus on the Essential, and Lead with Courage and Integrity.

P.S. I wrote a short eBook highlighting what I learned from this year’s WCA Global Leadership Summit.