This post first appeared on Daily Genius.

“Your job is not threatened by a machine, but by your coworker who knows more than you do about how to use the latest tools.”

This quote is from an article I read this morning from The Economist. I don’t subscribe to the publication. I don’t have it delivered to my home and even though I follow them on Twitter. I miss probably half of what they send.  So why today did I spend so much time reading their articles? They were able to hook me. They were able to do so not through email, not through an ad, not through a tweet, but by creating an incredible Snapchat story.

If you have heard of Snapchat, you’ve probably heard about the disappearing messages and the filters, but you may not be as familiar with the “Discover” section.  Discover is the “news” section of Snapchat, and it has media outlets engaging in the art of visual storytelling.

Today, The Economist did an excellent job of sharing a story on Discover that had me not only enjoying the visual aspects but also had me subscribing to the publication. Moreover, they told a compelling story using data. This story highlighted how to build a story that encompasses the why, the how, and the what.  Take a look.

With over 150 million daily users, Snapchat is the medium that is transforming how we communicate and share ideas. Why is this important for educators? Here’s three reasons

Lesson Ideas

How many of you have your students do writing assignments?  Who is reading those essays other than you?  Probably no one.  Does this mean the content isn’t interesting? Absolutely not.  Are there opportunities for your students to develop an authentic audience? YES!  Visual stories are fast becoming the new headline.  We know that headlines are key to getting people to read your content, and as the way in which we share ideas evolves, so must our medium.  Tools like Keynote, Pages, Canva, and Adobe Spark are great ways for students to create short visual stories and/or infographics that hook readers to keep them scrolling through their content.

Current Events

The short yet informative visual stories in the Discover section of Snapchat can be a great way to discuss current events with your students.  This doesn’t mean that you come into class and ask all your students to open up Snapchat.  It means that you as the teacher can share the article and model how the platform can be used to help students be critical consumers of content.  One of the options when looking at a Discover story is to share it with others. You can’t share it to your Snapchat story, but you can share it with as many people as you like, sparking a conversation.  Too many of us get emotional and angry when discussing current events, teaching students how to have constructive conversations is an important skill for any citizen of a country – especially in a democracy.

Sharing Your Story

The more I travel and work with different schools and organizations, the more I realize not enough of us are strategically sharing our stories.  Waking up and watching these stories serves as a daily source of inspiration for how I can share mine and how you can share yours.

Watching visual stories unfold on live video can be quite inspiring.  How might we use visual stories to make learning more engaging, memorable and visible?  Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

If you missed Sabba at the Innovation Summit in Boston, come see her in San Diego!

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