In the Trenches

Thoughts and Ideas from a Classroom Teacher

Happy Pinning

on June 7, 2012

A few months ago, I received an invitation from a friend to try out Pinterest, a content sharing service with allows users to share things they’ve found on a virtual corkboard. I liken it to visual bookmarking. I have to admit that the service is a bit of a time-suck. It’s easy to spend hours browsing what others and pinning in every area imaginable. I like the organizational component of it, and the visual piece really fits into my brain framework. I have boards for everything from different school areas to funny sayings/quotations to fashion to DIY projects to recipes. I think I get a bit over ambitious when it comes to projects, but it’s definitely a big girls’ wish list. I’ve been thinking about how to use this with students, if that would be possible at all.

Reviewing the Pinterest Terms of Service, it states that this service is for children ages 13 and over, but I would still be very careful about encouraging student use. There is no “child friendly” filter that allows you to review content that others are pinning, which is the default when you log in to your account. There is a possibility that images may appear on the child’s home screen that are not appropriate. If you are using Pinterest, or your children or students are, please just be mindful of this. This is my main red flag. That being said, here are some ways that I can easily see educators using Pinterest in their learning!

As Professionals

  • Pinterest is an endless supply of educational inspiration. You can easily follow all pinnings in the Education Category. This is a great way to find new people to follow.
  • Another great way to find people is to check with the blogs that you follow. Many bloggers are now adding buttons to their blogs to make it easy to follow them on Pinterest, too.
  • When you read or find something that you like or that inspires you, use the Pin It button to add it to one of your boards. That way you will remember to revisit it later. Remember to use the direct link to a site though (for example, a specific blog post, not just the overall blog).
  • Organize your boards in whatever way works best for you. I have boards for books, reading strategies, writing, Daily 5, vocabulary and more. I started out with Literacy, but that became too big, too fast.
  • Find blogs to read based on pins that you see others are posting. These sources for inspiration and ideas can lead to others, especially if you find a blogger or pinner with whom you find a connection. It’s easy to find kindred spirits on Pinterest.

As Students

  • Create a shared board for students in the same research group to access. Students can each add resources and ideas that they find to this group space, making it easy to access one another’s work.
  • Students can start independent learning and research on a topic. They can link their research boards to a class website, where others can see what they are learning.
  • Teachers can create different boards for topics that they are teaching in classes. These resource boards can be accessed by students at home or at school (if filtering allows) for enrichment and/or remediation.
  • Students can create a “book shelf” board, where they post pics and reviews of things they are reading.
  • Students can organize resources about their school or community for others to access to learn about them and their area.

Other Resources

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