After hearing about all the hoopla surrounding Pinterest, I decided to check it out and see if it had any value to me as an educator. Up until this point I really didn't have a clue as to what it was all about except that it was a social media tool that functioned like an electronic bulletin board. After requesting an invite, I was all set to go a day later and began to create my first pin board. The tutorial video that you are directed to upon signing up was short, to the point, and made it incredibly simple to dive in and start creating. I dragged the "pin it" bookmarklet into Google Chrome and off I went.
I quickly became fascinated with the idea of "pinning" together all of my professional interests. As I began to piece together resources on Personal Learning Networks(PLNs), I lost track of time and ended staying up well past my bedtime. The point here was that I was engaged. My excitement carried over to the next day as I created another board (Web 2.0 Tools). This led me to begin to brainstorm many ways in which educators could utilize this resource to enhance teaching and learning. Here is what I came up with:
The ability to pin together images, links, and videos in a visually engaging manner makes gathering and accessing information exciting. Teachers and administrators alike can create resource boards for themselves or students. Sharing these creative works are a breeze as each new board has a separate link, which can be easily accessed through one's profile.
Collaborative boards can be set up so multiple users can pin together ideas and resources to create one huge visual.
The possibilities here are intriguing. Teachers can have students set up collaborative boards for specific projects, portfolios, or to add an exciting dimension to a digital newspaper.
In my experiences at various conferences, presenters routinely share cool website links and images during their sessions. Pinterest provides a great platform to accumulate all of this information and then share with colleagues.
Teaching Copyright and Digital Citizenship
Pinterest provides educators with the ultimate tool to teach about copyright and Creative Commons. Some educators have decided to delete their accounts due to obvious issues with copyright. I see this as an opportunity to teach students that many images and photos are creative works, which need to be cited appropriately when "pinned". For the boards I have created I have given proper credit to any image/picture where I feel there might be a copyright issue. My personal advice though is to shy away from pinning professional photos unless you have written permission from the photographer.
These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. For a much more detailed list check out this post by Stephen Abram. For even more information on Pinterest head over to Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day. I think in time Pinterest will evolve into a powerful component of educator's Personal Learning Networks. Are you using Pinterest? Do you think it has value as an educational tool? Please share your thoughts.Here is a list of my other current boards: