This week we are introducing a fabulous social media tool, Instagram.

Instagram is a social media app which allows users to share images and video clips. As social media sites like Facebook (which its worth noting is the parent company which owns Instagram) continue to fall in terms of use amongst younger users apps such as Instagram are thriving particularly amongst the 16-24 age group and so can be a good way of engaging and communicating with students in a format they find engaging and relatable.

Instagram allows you to:

  • Upload images onto your account and share them with other users.
  • Comment on other users’ posts and comments.
  • Use Instagram Stories which are short video clips or images that you can annotate with text, drawings or other visual content.
  • Follow hashtags on certain topics and trends.
  • Follow other Instagram users and tag them in your content.
  • Livestream yourself and allow other users to co-livestream with you at the same time using the “Live” feature.
  • Post questions on your Stories that your followers can respond to. 

Information on how to create and set up your account can be found on the Instagram help site.

annotated image in Instagram

annotated image in Instagram

Is it free?

Instagram is completely free. You will simply need to download the app and then create an account either using an existing email address or a Facebook account .

Will it work on my device?

Instagram works on Android and iOS. It is also possible to view Instagram images on web browsers, but web users cannot upload content.

Where can I get the app?

Google Play (for Android)

iTunes (for ipad/iphone)

Ideas for using Instagram in learning and teaching

  • Use  to collectively build a visual resource around a topic. You could use a hashtag to collect posts together, or create a group conversation to share and comment on posts.
  • Use the Stories sticker feature to create polls.
  • Create role-playing learning scenarios where students put themselves in the place of others and try to work out what sort of content they’d post, taking on the role of a famous historical or fictional literary figure for example.


If you would like help with using Instagram or to discuss how this or any other digital tools could help you in your teaching or learning please get in touch with the TEL team.


Canvas Training

Places are filling up fast on our Canvas Fundamentals training workshops. We strongly encourage all Sussex academic staff to sign up for a place. Attending the workshop will familiarise you with Canvas and your options for teaching with the new VLE. It also gives you access to your migrated modules from 17/18.

Professional Services staff are also welcome to book a place on this workshop.

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Posted in Active learning, App review, Social media

About our blog

We are the Educational Enhancement team at the University of Sussex. We publish posts each week on using technology to support teaching and learning. Read more about us.

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