Social Workflow Revisited: What Do We Do Now?

I’ve blogged many times now about our workflow. It was Doug Peterson’s comment on my August blog post that helped us revise our plans once again.

Doug made us think more about why we share so openly and socially, and the possible unintended message to others that might come with hiding everything behind a firewall. It was with this thinking in mind that we changed our class blog to a Daily Documentation Blog, and share most of our photographs, videos, and learning stories through a Twitter/Instagram combination. Everything is then embedded on the blog. This workflow has worked wonderfully for us and for our families until this week.

On Tuesday, Instagram wouldn’t let me publish any videos. It didn’t matter about the size or number of the videos, I continued to get error messages. I had mixed experiences publishing photographs through Instagram as well. Since most of our parents access our class documentation through Instagram, we usually publish the stories there, cross-post to Twitter, and then embed on the blog. Ugh. No matter what I did, this was not working. Hoping that the problem was a short-term one, we decided to create some videos and upload them directly on the blog: using the captions in iMovie to record our reflections much as we would in an Instagram post.

Unfortunately, the problem persisted, and on Wednesday, videos would still not upload on Instagram. This time, we decided to post some photographs on Instagram (they would upload), some videos on Twitter, and upload others directly on our blog, just as we did on Tuesday. This workflow was okay from a timing perspective, but it was less valuable to us based on how we actually use the content that we share. Every day, Paula and I pull Instagram posts to re-look at with students during our class meeting time. The conversations around these posts inspire further learning in the classroom as well as outside.

The videos that we create for the blog are longer and incorporate more photographs and video snippets, as they are more time-consuming to create and upload. The videos that we posted directly on Twitter are better in terms of length and content to re-explore with kids, but they are more finicky to share. One wrong click, and you’re out of them.

We were back to the drawing board again when the problem was still not fixed on Thursday. This time, we tried threaded tweets with photographs and video snippets that unpacked the entire story of learning.

We love the way that the story flows here, but this is a way more time-consuming process. Usually on Instagram, as the videos start to publish, we can publish the next one. With threaded tweets, we need the first tweet to publish to add a second one and so on and so forth. With videos included here, it can take a while for each tweet to post. It ended up taking until almost 11:00 to publish everything on Thursday night and embed everything into a blog post. This might not be sustainable in the long run. Plus, there is still the Twitter issue of accidentally getting out of the post when reviewing it with the class.

We could choose to publish less, but even with all that we share, we have other moments that we don’t post. What we publish really does share an overview of the day and gives families a look into our classroom, which we love. Parents often use the learning that they see as entry points for further conversations and extensions at home.

We could also choose to publish predominantly photographs instead of videos, but it’s the listening back to our video conversations that often have Paula and I reflecting the most. We not only gain further insights into student thinking, but also into our questioning and responding to kids. We regularly set goals and support each other in growth based on video discussions. Even if we take the videos and don’t publish them, I wonder, will we listen and reflect on them as much as we do now?

Seeing as though Instagram is still not allowing me to upload videos, I’m stuck as we look ahead to a new week. Do we continue with the Twitter option, reduce sharing until Instagram works again, upload directly onto the blog but with less user-friendly choices, or explore a new option altogether? What would you suggest? Since we learn and share so much socially, we’re hoping that this problem solving could also be done in a social way. Thanks, in advance, for your advice!


4 thoughts on “Social Workflow Revisited: What Do We Do Now?

  1. Interesting observation, Aviva, and I’m saddened that you’re affected by it this way. I hope that it’s a momentary glitch in the system or with your account. I would think that if you had crossed someone’s terms of use that you would have been notified. The only other suggestion that comes this early in the morning is that perhaps you hit some sort of storage limit. I hope that it eventually works out for you.

    • Thanks for the comment, Doug! I reached out to Instagram on Twitter to see if they have any suggestions. I haven’t heard anything back yet, but it looks as though the recent automatic Instagram update is causing the same problem for some people. Hopefully this means then this is not a Terms of Use problem. (That said, I once had an issue with using a certain song in one of my posts, and Instagram contacted me right away about the problem and a possible fix.) I updated my iOS operating system to see if that helped. No. It looks as though I have enough storage space unless there’s an internal storage with Instagram that I’m missing. I even deleted and re-downloaded the app to see if that would work. No again. I’m hoping that this is a temporary issue as well, for no other workflow works quite as well for us.


  2. Hi Aviva:
    I, too, am sorry you’ve hit this barrier and hope a resolution is found soon. But it’s also a chance for reflection on all you and Paula do to connect/share with your families. I wonder – brace yourself – if you are doing too much? I LOVE how you bring your families into learning, giving them ideas to extend it into the home and creating meaningful opportunities for engagement. And it’s fabulous that you offer it on multiple platforms. But this work is doing differently not doing more. From what I see every day just on twitter (!), you could cut back a lot and still give them a great vantage point to life in the classroom. Of course, they’ll want to know why the drop but I know they’ll understand.
    I guess what I’m offering is this: Do what works for you and Paula, honouring the connections you’ve made with home but also your needs, time and energy.

    • Thanks for your comment, Nancy! I think that I’m struggling here as the documentation is used in a few ways. One way is to give families insight into the classroom and ways to extend the learning at home. The other way is to reflect on learning with students and inspire new learning in the days/weeks ahead. If we do less, what do we give up? How do we still give insight into the classroom and provide inspiration for future learning? Right now, we don’t spend our day worrying about which child we’ve captured, as we know that over the course of the day, all students are represented in some way. If we notice at the end of the day that we’ve spent more time with some children than others, then we consciously make an attempt to spend more time with another child the next day. By significantly reducing what we share, are we going to be more focused on ensuring that every child is captured in some way versus staying more focused on the learning? We know from parents that they love to see their own child in action, even if it’s in the background of a photograph or a video. The cross-section of learning that we share each day also helps come Communication of Learning time, as we really have seen how students revisit and extend learning, and we’re able to share some great stories as part of each Communication of Learning. I wonder if these stories will still be explored in the same way if we don’t share as much. I guess that we could upload some photographs and videos directly to OneDrive folders just for parents to look at, but I wouldn’t want to miss out on the reflection time that Paula and I have when we revisit documentation. Hmmm … If nothing else, these Instagram issues have made me think about the varied ways that we use documentation, not just share it.


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