Social Media and the Classroom: How to Use Vine

Social media is already transforming classrooms. If you teach, there’s a good chance you’ve used Twitter, Facebook, and even Pinterest to draw your students’ attention to their work in exciting new ways. But now there’s a new app on the scene: Vine. Luckily the blog at was on hand to help us all become a little more familiar with this new social forum and figure out how to implement it in our ever evolving classrooms. Take a look and let us know what you think!

What is Vine?

Vine, a mobile app created by Twitter, allows users to create and share short video clips. Like Twitter, brevity is valued and video clips can’t exceed six seconds in length, so users have to be quick about getting their point across. Vine is a pretty new addition to the social media canon. The service was founded in June of 2012, but just launched to the public in January of 2013 as a free app on the iPhone and iPod Touch. In this time, Vine has seen amazing growth, with users tweeting an average of 2,300 Vine videos every hour. Below is an example of the creativity one can bring to the app.

Why Vine is Special

Just like Twitter, Vine imposes limitations on how much content users can generate. While this might seem constricting at first, if Twitter has proven anything it’s that it’s easy to say a lot with very little. Limitations, in this way, aren’t always a bad thing. In fact, the constraints may actually force users to get to the point more quickly and to be more creative and innovative about how they present their content.

Even though Vine has only been available for a few months, people are already using the application in a wide range of creative ways. This bodes well for its staying power and the future role Vine may play in all aspects of social media communication. It also shows how diverse a simple, six-second piece of media can really be, as everyone from Paul McCartney to Cadbury have begun using it to connect through ideas and experiences. It’s the combination of the simplicity and the social aspects of Vine that may just lead it to be a serious force going forward in education and beyond.

Vine’s Potential in Education

Looking to learn how to use Vine and get a better idea of how to use it in the classroom? Dr. Justin Marquis, a professor of educational technology, offers his take on Vine’s use in the higher education classroom in this informative video for educators.

Educators can also challenge their students to express their understanding of materials in a Vine. Imagine the depth to which students would need to know something in order to convey it in only six seconds. The creativity and understanding that it would take for students to encapsulate the major theme of a work of literature or the seminal achievement of a great scientist or mathematician in six seconds can help them develop exactly the kinds of skills that they need to be successful in a fast-paced, hyper-connected global economy.

Tips for Using Vine

Not sure how to begin your Vine explorations? Here are some tips to get you creating, sharing, and loving Vine.

  • Get creative. While you may only have six seconds, there’s a virtually limitless number of ways you can use that time. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try something new. Who knows, you may just spark a rash of copycats.
  • Check out Twitter or the Vine app to see how others are using Vine. If you’re not sure what Vine would be good for or how others are using it, then check out the app itself or search for #vine on Twitter. You’ll see some examples of everyday people using Vine for a wide range of purposes.
  • Know Vine’s limitations. The limitations of Vine can inspire creativity, but do inhibit functionality, so it’s important to know what the app can and can’t do. That way, you won’t be surprised if you can’t use it in the way you’d like.
  • Get inspired by businesses. Businesses have been some of the most creative early adopters of Vine. While not educational per se, you can use their videos to inspire your own lessons that appeal to your demographic (students).
  • Use it to market your lessons. Marketing techniques can not only help businesses to sell products, but they can also help you “sell” information to students. A Vine video may engage students in a new way, or inspire them to check out information related to what you’re studying in class.
  • Integrate Vine into your current Twitter usage. Vine, while a separate app, is a part of Twitter, so if you plan to use it, try to simply integrate it into the ways you’re already using Twitter in the classroom. It can help to make things more visual and fun for students.

This post provides an excerpt from an excellent article over on the OnlineUniversities blog. To read the full article, which includes basic tutorials for getting started on Vine and helpful reading material, click here.

What are your thoughts on using Vine in the classroom? Does it inspire creativity and advance knowledge? Or is it possibly unfeasible to facilitate given its constraints? We’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment below.