George Lucas Educational Foundation
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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:

Curating Content

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.

Brainstorming

Collaborative boards can be set up so multiple users can pin together ideas and resources to create one huge visual.

Engaging Students

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.

Conference Summaries/Notes

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:
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Ebonized29's picture

Would Pinterest be a good resource to use when brainstorming about activities to engage students when creating a lesson plan? I have seen it done with younger children from ages 2-4 but is the concept also applicable when approaching children in grade school?

John S. Thomas's picture
John S. Thomas
First & Second Grade Teacher/Adjunct faculty Antioch University New England, former Elementary Principal

Ebonized29, Pinterest is a fantastic way to brainstorm activities for any lesson. I've found so many incredible ideas from Pinterest that I simply don't have enough time to try them all. I have created Pinterest boards on all my major science and social studies grade leve topics as well as other academic areas such as ELA, the arts, and math/steam.

skarate28's picture

I personally love pintrest too! It is a great and easy to use resource for any and all things you can think of. I follow a few education and special education boards which give me great ideas to use in my future classroom. I love seeing things that other people have used for their classrooms and what other resources I can obtain and try in my future endeavors as a special education teacher. Although I have not tried any of the things I have pinned yet it is a great resource for the future! As Eric mentioned it can also be easy to lose track of time but I feel as though it is not a terrible place to lose track of time :)

LoveofLearnin''s picture

Pinterest is an awesome tool for educators. I have found ideas for just about everything from teaching concepts to fun craft activities. It's hard to remember what we did before Pinterest!

Melissa Brown's picture

I am a huge fan of Pinterest and have been for a couple of years. I think it has many helpful tips for classroom organization/decorating, but there are also many other benefits. Technology is changing everyday, and I believe it is important to relate to your students in a way they understand because hopefully that will help them be more successful in the classroom. There are endless selections of things to 'pin' on Pinterest, and constantly has new, and evolving ideas for lesson plan templates, activities to engage students, organizational tips, projects, and that is only scratching the surface!

Christina Gil's picture
Christina Gil
Former Classroom Teacher, Current Homeschooler and Ecovillager

I have been so resistant to Pinterest! I feel like it is a lot of flash but not much substance. Pins with the cool graphics seem to rise to the top.... I also don't really need another rabbit hole in my life.

mabelcelia's picture

I like Pinterest but I don't know yet how to take advantage from it. I have used some resources even with my 12th graders. I need to learn more about Pinterest. Reading your article made me want to use it more frequently. Thanks for sharing!

Danielle Barnie's picture
Danielle Barnie
Learning Experience Consultant, Education Technology Specialist

Really enjoy this post! Pinterest can be used as inspiration for learning designers and educators, as well as by the students themselves. We've used them as mood boards and research boards.

mario034's picture

Really enjoy this post! Pinterest can be used as inspiration ,Thanks for sharing!

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