Having heard so much hype surrounding Pinterest, I decided to check it out and in particular look at how much value it has for educators. Could it perhaps tie in to the work students do using creative software and technologies?
For those who aren’t familiar with Pinterest, it is essentially a virtual pin board, where users can pin any visual or audio link from the internet; so anything from photographs and product images to video clips and articles can be captured in one place. It’s been around since 2008, but has really taken the social media world by storm over the past 12 months.
Like a virtual scrapbook, but a very public one, it is essentially an online space for collating the items that you love. The items that users pin can then be arranged into different categories and then shared, by enabling other users to ‘repin’ content. It’s very easy and simple to use, all you need to do is request an invitation. Once registered you can surf the web and look for any images, articles, products, web pages or videos you like, and simply click on the ‘pin it’ bookmark to pin it to one of your boards. You can create as many boards as you like and share them with your colleagues and friends.
It is one place where sharing content from other people is actively encouraged – it is all about the social activity of interaction and sharing and gaining followers, rather than keeping ownership of your work. Pins are searchable for other Pinterest users, which is what makes it a great tool for virtual learning and collaboration.
How You Can Use Pinterest In Your Classroom
- It’s is a great tool for teachers, enabling them to pin together images, links, and videos to make visually appealing boards, which makes information sharing that little bit more exciting.
- Perfect for locating images and videos to include in a particular lesson.
- It is great for engaging students. The possibilities are endless and teachers can have students set up collaborative boards for specific projects or assignments.
- A great way to collaborate with other teachers – share ideas, resources, videos, news articles, infographics and images. You don’t have to be working in the same school, or even the same country, to be able to work on the same collection of resources.
- Teachers can create resource boards for themselves or their students and start sharing with each other.
- Teachers can use it as a brainstorming tool where students can contribute in the pinning together of ideas and resources to create one huge visual.
- Make group work visual by inviting students to collaborate and share images for presentations or links to papers, resources, and research.
- Students can work together on a group project, putting together a board of ideas and resources, working independently and pinning ideas onto the board to create a group collage. The teacher can then visit the board, leaving comments and feedback on the resources put together.
For use alongside creative software, such as Serif’s educational programs, there’s no doubt that Pinterest works. Some suggestions; if you are doing a web design project, why not get your students to create a Pinterest board of websites that inspire them, and any features they’d like to include? Or, if you are setting your class a task using photo editing software, you could get them to search for images that they like and any techniques that have been used to create special effects. All in all, it is perfect as a research tool and is a place for teachers and students to collate all of their inspirations in one place, before they start on a piece of work.
To conclude, I don’t really see any reason why Pinterest shouldn’t be used as a valuable (and fun!) classroom tool, offering benefits for students and teachers.