'Pinteresting': Four Great Ways To Use Pinterest in Teaching and Learning

Pinterest is a recent phenomenon in social networking. However, it spreads like wildfire across the internet world.

This medium is not new to me. In fact, I was one of those who opened an account when it was introduced (probably 54,356,297th; LOL!). Because I didn't know how to make sense of it, I lost my password. LOL!

When I attended day 2 of my Reading Foundations workshop recently, our facilitator's promotion of Pinterest was so strong that it brought back my interest in Pinterest (the rhyme sounds ridiculous but I can't help it!). Ms. Laura Pilland, 1st grade teacher at Dare County Schools, NC, is a guru in Pinterest, and she needs to be named and recognized. She showed us how organized her account is, and what we could get from Pinterest.

After 24 hours of waiting to be re-invited in Pinterest (that's what you will also do if you are new to Pinterest!), I tried to figure out how we can make sense of it in teaching and learning. Below are recommendations on how Pinterest becomes a potential tool. Be in a hurry before school districts include Pinterest in their 'firewalled' sites.

1. It helps students brainstorm concepts, ideas, and resources for individual or group projects. Because sharing is global, students can be exposed to brilliant ideas that they can blend or integrate in order to produce a knowledge that they can call their own.

2. It can be used as a community board for projects or ideas that may be used in the future. In my generation, we needed to compile old magazines for future posters, collages, and presentations. With Pinterest, nothing is lost -- and chances are, everything is there in no time. Whatever it is that they pinned on the board can be retrieved any time they need it.

3. Use the board or boards (Ms. Pilland said she has 39 boards in one account) to organize photos, and design projects and collages.

4. Pinterest can be used to showcase student work online. It is like running an ad in a global television. The only difference is that it is free.

Although it sounds astounding to use Pinterest, educators should not forget their responsibility to monitor online activities of students. Even if Pinterest is self-moderated by members, we cannot simply put students on autopilot in using it. One last thing to observe is internet ethics (also known as 'netiquettes'). It is absolutely free to re-pin stuff on Pinterest. However, it is also appropriate that the original posters must be recognized in your pinning and re-pinning activities. Student must be told to do this early on before things go out of hand.

Ask for an invitation from Pinterest.com. Happy pinning!

Category: All levels