What is Pinterest?
I am sure you've heard your friends talk about Pinterest. It has become extremely popular in the past year. My wife was the one who originally told me about it back in 2010. It has definitely hit the Internet by storm.
Pinterest is yet another social site where users curate interesting things they see on the web. Users are able to create different “boards” and then “pin” items to these boards. As users gain attention, their pins become “repinned”, causing a ever-growing connection of interesting material. Photos, videos, and any webpage can be saved within these pinboards, most of which are categorized within the realms of fashion, food, crafts, teaching, and technology. Basically, anything on the web can be pinned. There are easy ways to pin things, both on the computer and on iPhone and iPad. There is a bookmarklet for pinning items on Safari. It takes a few steps to set up, but once you do, it's as easy as saving a bookmark. A bookmarklet is like a “smart bookmark” that will let you save your current webpage with just one-click.
Since its rapid growth, Pinterest has without a doubt become an excellent source of finding materials and ideas for teaching. Only this past week did my wife (a second grade teacher) research a unit on solids, liquids and gases, almost entirely from Pinterest.
Once you click on a pin, it will lead you to the original webpage. The reference is always given, so plagiarism is not an issue. Users can follow other users, but they can also be more specific and only follow certain boards that they like. Then, as new things are pinned each day, users will find them showing up on their feed (not unlike a Facebook feed). You can also, like Twitter, search for items by typing them in or within categories:
Click here to actually visit my Pinboards!
iPad Pinterest app for teachers:
Just a quick tip for any Pinterest iPad teachers out there. Since there has been a recent official Pinterest iPad app released in August 2012, I thought of a neat way to use it in your teaching:
Once you find something you want to save, you can repin it in a specific board of yours, but you can also share to Faceook, Twitter, Email, or Camera Roll. Here is an image of adjectives that I found useful, thanks to fellow French teacher Jill Tuttle:
Going back to my Camera Roll, I easily find the image immediately. I can then use it while I teach. I have the option to project it for everyone to see, or just use it myself and teach the adjectives using my own facial expressions.
The ability to save onto Camera Roll is a very useful feature. Teachers can then create separate albums in iOS 5 or 6 on their iPad of all their useful finds. They can then easily refer to them while teaching. As an image search, I find that Pinterest can be far better than Google image search, because it will lead you to other teachers with the same interests and teaching subjects as you.
Pinterest in Education
Pinterest may have started its roots in crafts and foods, but there has been a huge influx of education-related pins.
Look at all the boards that show up when I type “French Education”:
Professional development opportunities are endless. If I wanted to, I could easily spend hours simply researching how to improve my teaching.
Here are some more ideas on using Pinterest for teaching:
- Crafts for art classes;
- Skit ideas for drama, English, or second-language classes;
- Recipes for foods classes;
- Posters for classroom decorating;
- Learn how to better organize your classroom;
- Find new books and articles to read to update your PLN;
As Pinterest continues to grow, I predict it will soon have full integration within the iOS. This means even easier ways to share to Pinterest. Twitter integration was introduced in iOS 5 in 2011, and Facebook integration in iOS 6 in 2012. Pinterest integration in iOS 7?
Do you use Pinterest? Have you tried the iPad and iPhone app? Any new ideas for Pinterst in educatiob? Please let us know in the comments!