Teaching Spelling through Instagram: Spanish Language in the High School Classroom

Social networks have been a social revolution, fostered by the technological era and the constant innovations that are generated (Arzola Franco, Loya Ortega, and González Ortiz 2017). Social media were defined by Kaplan and Haenlein (2010, 60) as “a group of internet applications built on the ideological and technological foundations of web 2.0 to allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content,” and they define the way we interact and see the world. Digitization has come to stay and has changed the way in which we ensure our basic interaction needs (Trujillo Torres, Díaz, and Reche 2015): we get up and consult information on our mobile; we maintain conversations with our family, friends, and colleagues from work through an app; and we even keep in touch with our students by using social media. Our reality is defined in a world that combines the real and the virtual, and this has substantially changed our social experience.

A turning point was the confinement to which we have been subjected during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, social networks were the only valid alternative to maintaining contact with friends, family, or students. If we focus on the effects this pandemic has caused on education, we must recognize that thanks to the creation of virtual communities, Spain and other countries have been able to continue with online learning (Aznar Sala 2020). In this context, multiple telematic strategies have been explored and consolidated, but it has also become clear that not all teachers were prepared to take on the digital challenge. For this reason, we would like to share a proposal in this article that can complement contemporary educational challenges and adapt them to a new, digital reality, as it is a reality that demands more gamification of the educational task (Moya López 2013).

Our proposal focuses on how social networks, and specifically Instagram, help students regard their spelling learning as a game. Instagram is one of the tools most used by young people in their leisure time; in June 2018, it reached one billion active users (Fernández 2020). In addition, one of the most far-reaching consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a greater use of social networks (Pérez-Escoda et al. 2020). Teaching and learning processes have had to adapt largely to the advancement of technologies, and within the educational system, additional aspects have been affected even before the COVID-19 pandemic (Salinas 1995).

Sigue leyendo el artículo de forma gratuita en: Pareja-Olcina, María. 2021. «Teaching Spelling through Instagram: Spanish Language in the High School Classroom«. Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal 15 (1): 23-36. doi: https://doi.org/10.18848/1835-9795/CGP/v15i01/23-36