Sunday, February 19, 2012

Exploring the Educational Value of Pinterest

After hearing about all the hoopla surrounding Pinterest, I decided to check it out a few days ago.  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(PLN’s), 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.
  • 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 during their sessions.  Pinterest provides a great platform to accumulate all of this information and then share with colleagues. 
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.

23 comments:

  1. Here is an example a project by one of Jerrid Kruse's students http://sarah-hutch.blogspot.com/2011/12/fourth-tech-project-pinterest.html

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  2. Eric, thanks for your post. I, too, have been intrigued by Pinterest and all of its possibilities. I have had to put off interacting with it too much because I am afraid it will take over my life:) I definitely plan on it, though. I think Pinterest especially appeals to visual learners, as opposed to diigo/delicious. In addition, it is cleaner looking to me than ScoopIt, which I find visually confusing. Another powerful tool with unlimited possibilities for educators.

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  3. Like Debbie, I definitely agree that I like Pinterest better than ScoopIt (mainly because of the limited features of the free version). One great thing about Pinterest is the ability to teach copyright, intellectual property along with it.

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    1. I would love to learn more about how you teach about copyright and intellectual property using pinterest. I have been teaching 21st century skills for awhile now, but still struggle with finding an engaging way to introduce copyright and IP discussions (I find the students get very defensive).
      you can contact me on twitter @mrdmielke.

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    2. Mike: In my opinion it is fairly easy to teach this as long as all images are linked to the appropriate website where the content originated. Another idea is to create a board highlighting all of the resources pertaining to copyright/intellectual property.

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    3. Recently came across this blog post concerning copyright and pinterest. Kind of interesting: http://ddkportraits.com/2012/02/why-i-tearfully-deleted-my-pinterest-inspiration-boards/

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    4. Chris,

      I read that post and another one. As a result I went back through all my pins and added imaged credits to any images where there might be copyright issues.

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  4. Working in a 1-1 laptop school, I always find my girls on Pinterest whenever they have any free time to browse. At the beginning of this year, I had students bring in a brown bag with five things (metaphors, really) to explain who they are. But next year I'd like them each to create a Pinterest board for the same purpose!

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  5. We used it to create an International Blog Directory for all the wonderful Early Childhood Educators out there! Still pinning and working but very excited about this newest #KInderchat project launch! http://pinterest.com/kinderchat/

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  6. i'm intrigued, too... i can "see" the uses in my mind but haven't been able to articulate them as specific activities - i'm waiting for my invite and hope playing around will yield more specific ideas...my fear, though, is that it will be blocked by our awful filters as a "social networking" site...ugh

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  7. I love your ideas! I have been on pinterest for personal reasons (recipes, craft ideas, decorating ideas, etc) but the uses in the classroom can be wonderful as well. I even think of times I want my students to pretend to be a director for a movie of a novel we just read. They need to create an appropriate cast. They could easily pin photos of actors/actresses to create an entire cast. I'll have to check and see if it is blocked by our internet security at school.

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  8. Pinterest is definitely addicting! I joined it prior to starting my education degree and was re-engaged all over again once I started to realize all the amazing boards for educators. I have been following more and more educators and getting some great ideas but I never thought of actually using it in the classroom. Thanks for the post, I will now be thinking of ways that it could be used with students.

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  9. My teachers LOVE Pinterest and have done some amazing lessons and activities they have found. Of all the social media I have shared with them, they shared this with me and find HUGE value in the "education" section. I bet I could go around my building right now and find 10 lessons they found from Pinterest and they are quality lessons. Some are cutesy and lots are quality. THIS might have hooked them on social media:)
    Thanks for your reflection!
    Melinda

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  10. Given all the comments above, I wonder if we can start a Google Doc to share our Pinterest URLs, etc. I would appreciate seeing how others organized their boards, their pinnings, and their annotations. I, too, use Diigo, and will continue to use both. Pinterest holds promise for visual learners, but even Diigo holds promise for those learners if the full features are used. Although I initially found myself staying up to the wee hours of the night (well, really morning), I have curbed how much time I stay on the site. I tend to keep it as an open window or to use the pin it button just as I would the diigolet one on Diigo. Thus, the process of pinning and annotating has become more seamless over time. I like all the ideas offered in the original post and comments following as ways to explore the potential of Pinterest in the school setting. Google Plus+ is another tool that equally, if not more so, deserves exploration and study for use in the school setting.

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  11. I have been using pinterest as my first stop search engine for my methods courses since last November and I am amazed at the time it saves me to find quality sites. Of course all that saved time is lost exploring the wonderful resources I have found! I am planning a PD session for local teachers and was pondering if I should use this as my focus. This is encouraging me in that direction!

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  12. We launched the Atlanta Public Schools Pinterest page over the weekend. Having a ton of fun as we add this to our SM network. Looks as if Milwaukee and APS are the only districts embracing it right now...let me know if there are others out there, we would love to follow! http://pinterest.com/apsupdate/

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  13. Very cool my friend, very cool. This defiantly takes curation to the next level. Thanks for the find.

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  14. This is an excellent post on the benefits of Pinterest for educators. I wrote a blog post about Pinterest last week b/c I think it's such a wonderful tool and I wanted to let teachers know about it, as many have not heard yet. I love all the ideas you've shared here and have added a link to this post on my blog. Check it if you have the chance and thanks for sharing these useful ideas! http://ow.ly/9cqSq

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  15. Love this post. I recently submitted a guest post to Careerealism.com about how Pinterest is a great way to boost your career, especially in the education space: http://www.careerealism.com/career-pintrest-help/ Would be amazing if links to videos/images/resources from conferences lived on specific pinboards. I always find myself spending hours on Google trying to find all of the amazing resources presented. -Sarah

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  16. Great post. I've been using Pinterest for a few months in Professional Development. I work for an Area Education Agency and collaborate with many teachers. I have found Pinterest to be the easiest way to share information with them. I have created many boards that address technology integration and have tried to create boards for all content areas. I am also collaborating on a few boards with colleagues. I am finding many elementary teachers - but am struggling to find as many Middle and High School teacher boards. Any suggestions of secondary teachers who are creating educational boards? Copyright.. very important to always link back to where the information was obtained. Find me on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/twahlert/

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  17. Eric,

    Thank you for the post and the information in it has led our IT department to unblock the site for educators.

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  18. I LOVE pinterest http://pinterest.com/carisita/ it is such an easy way to get ideas from othe rteachers and share comics and ideas that I use from class to class or topic to topic. www.tinyurl.com/ESLPinterest

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  19. A very good and informative article indeed. It helps me a lot to enhance my knowledge, I really like the way the writer presented his views.
    Interactive whiteboard

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