Global Awareness via Snapchat Life Stories

Global Awareness via Snapchat Life Stories

I am fascinated how the social media platform Snapchat is bringing global awareness to its users! I noticed specific cities appearing for 24 hours on the app:

  • In small tidbits
  • in a collaborative manner (users at a specific geographic location are invited to submit a few seconds of their “perception” of what life in their city looks like)
  • raising interest to immediately watch it by making it available for a limited time (reminded me of the Beanie Baby craze of introducing and retiring certain animals to make people run for the stores and increasing value)

Since then I have seen on Twitter

and on blogs,

people gearing up to showcase their city. What types of tidbits should be included? How to best shine the light on their favorite:

  • activities
  • food traditions
  • how to get around their city
  • landmarks and famous sites
  • language and colloquialism
  • wild life
  • leisure time
  • festivals/celbrations
  • traditions
  • street music
  • sports

The city to be showcased becomes an event on a certain day and allows people who have their geolocation enabled to submit their snapchats for inclusion in the city’s life story (For details: How to Post to Our Stories)

So far the cities, like Manchester, UK, Barcelona, Spain, Nairobi, Kenya, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Los Angeles, USA among others have been officially “snapchatted” and curated. For a complete list of cities and events that have been showcased, take a look at What is on Snapchat Stories Today?

Today on June 5th, Brisbane, Australia was featured:

Below are some reactions to the Brisbane Snapchat story of today (and a couple of other twitter reactions to Snapchat Life Event Stories ) in terms of global awareness. Also, remember that over 70% of their users are under the age of 25)

The idea of using the social media platform, where the under 25 crowd already hangs out (their turf) and finding a way to “feed them tidbits” of global awareness (“hey there is life outside your backyard” or thinking and discussing critically what stereotypes, misconceptions about a city/country are) is note worthy. I am wondering how to bring this into the classroom. With older students you could directly go into Snapchat to look and react to the City Life Event. For youunger students, I am thinking of the possibilities of using an app like 1 Second Everyday to capture short video clips to tell a story of awareness, learning and sharing.

I would love for Snapchat to give their users to create their OWN events and invite collaborators to contribute to these event stories. Think about the possibilities for field trips, exchange programs, collaborative units of inquiry (transportation, immigration, how do living things adapt to survive?, etc.). Can you imagine the global collaboration possibilities and the critical thinking and “NOW” literacies involved to make decisions of what, how and where to capture in order to tell and share “the story”?

How do you imagine using the concept of event/story feature on Snapchat with your students?

cross posted at

Silvia Tolisano is a Curriculum21 faculty member, author of the book Digital Storytelling Tools for Educators and founder of the Around the World with 80 Schools project. Read more at