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Snapchat Mashups

posted: 10.14.14 by Traci Gardner

I love “28 Snapchats From Harry Potter.” The BuzzFeed article compiles Snapchat-like images that mashup images from the Harry Potter movies with pop culture comments and puns, like the “Snapechat” image on the right.

Much like the Pinterest activities I shared two weeks ago, these Snapchat mashups would work as inspiration for the multimodal remix assignment students work on in the Writing and Digital Media course that I teach.

First, let me explain the basics on Snapchat, in case you are unfamiliar. Snapchat is a way of sending photos or videos on iOS and Android phones. The application allows you to make some changes, like adding captions or drawing on the image. You might add an arrow to point to something or circle a feature. Snapchat images were originally meant to be viewed only once, for up to 10 seconds. Newer versions of the app allow the sender to save the images, and either sender or recipient can take a screenshot and save the image.

Unlike Whisper or Yik Yak, Snapchat is not anonymous. You have to add friends, and you only post your messages to your friends. They aren’t posted to the public. In order to create a collection of images like the Harry Potter Snapchats, the sender or recipient would need to save the images or take screenshots and then upload those images to a public space. It’s quite doable, but you have to work around the constraints of Snapchat and use other tools to make it happen.

To use Snapchat for the multimodal remix assignment, students will need to take a slightly different perspective. The Harry Potter Snapchats appear to be sent from one Harry Potter fan to another, rather than one character in the book series to another.

To remix some aspect of a story, like the Harry Potter series, as Snapchat, the student would need to take on the persona of characters from the novels who would be likely to connect with the app. Harry, Hermione, and Ron would send Snapchats back and forth. Harry, Snape, and Draco probably wouldn’t.

The student would need to choose the pair or group of friends, sketch out events from the story to present as Snapchats, create the Snapchat images, and then save and present them on a public site. In the case of my course, they would publish them on the WordPress blogs. They can either create the image in Snapchat and save them, or they could mockup the images in an image editor like PhotoShop or Paint.

Just brainstorming, I can imagine students trying any of the following remix options:

  • A series of exchanges between two or three characters from another novel or text. What could students do stills from The Hunger Games movies?
  • Historical Snapchats, with images taken from public domain or historical sites, between eyewitnesses to a specific event.
  • Images characters from two different stories might exchange. What would Henry Fleming from The Red Badge of Courage exchange with one of the soldiers from Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried?
  • Photos that an author sends to a friend while writing a novel.

If you decide to pursue a Snapchat assignment, be sure to check out Barclay Barrios’ post on Teaching Snapchat for some additional discussion ideas. If you have other suggestions or want to ask a question, leave me a comment below, or drop by my page on Facebook or Google+.

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