Problematising the use of Snapchat in Higher Education Teaching and Learning


  • Paul Fenn University of Sheffield
  • Paul J Reilly University of Sheffield



Social media, Surveillance Realism, Learning, Teaching, Higher education, Snapchat


There has been relatively little research exploring how Snapchat can be used within Higher Education teaching to date. In this viewpoint, we draw on extant empirical data to explore the strengths and weaknesses of using the Instant Messaging (IM) app to support student learning and teaching within universities. We conclude by considering whether it is appropriate to fully integrate apps like Snapchat into Higher Education in light of the revelations of data misuse by these platforms. The growth of ‘surveillance realism’, whereby citizens feel increasingly powerless at their personal data being repurposed by these companies for financial gain, arguably supersedes any supposed pedagogical benefits for student learners.