The popularity of pinterest is growing and it seems teachers are also finding different ways of using pinterest in their classroom to improve the way students learn. For the first time , you might think that Pinterest is only for fashion or those wired wedding planning’s women pin on their boards, but when you dig deep into the network, you will find that pinterest is a great educational technology which every teacher should try out.
Basically, Pinterest is a source of inspiration, images tend to teach more than text , so as a teacher you can create various educative pin boards and tell your students to follow your pins, in this manner, you can pin educative images related to the topic or subject you’re teaching, your students will find it easy to relate to these images. For example, if you’re a Geography teacher, you can decide to create boards for various geography topics like Volcanicity , Rocks , Landscape, etc, then you can always refer to those boards while teaching. If you have an interactive smart white board, you can easily access your pinterest boards for Geography and derive clear images which illustrate the topic of that day, students will feel entertained.
So let’s see some of the ways teachers can use Pinterest:
- 1. Organize educational ideas – Since each photo is linked back to a website with detailed information, you can easily curate photos from various educative websites and blogs online and organize that data in form of boards. Lets say that you want to create an educational pinterest account for your classroom, first, you will need to define the needs of your students, if it is a Biology classroom, you will have to create various boards for biology then hunt for data in that section, Biology is a wide subject, so to cut down the task, you can list all important topics of that academic term, then create a board for each topic, to find data on each topic, you will need to use both Google Search and Google Images, make sure that each image you pin links back to a website or blog with relevant content about that topic.
- 2. Collaborate with other educators: Since Pinterest has become so popular, many educators have started using the network for various purposes, some of them are using Pinterest to promote their educational work, while others are using it to collect and organize academic data. Since you can not get the data you need by your self, it is better you follow and collaborate with other educators. This means, you will always see educative images pinned on their boards via your pinterest account feed, this will help you to easily stumble on educative data which you might as well re-pin on your board. You can as well engage in discussions with fellow educators using the commenting system.
- 3. Collaborate with students on Pinterest: Joining Pinterest is very easy, now that the network is out of the beta version, any one can create a free Pinterest account, since the network has so many inspirational photos PINNED by creative users, and your students will find it interesting to use Pinterest. As an educator, you can invite your students to your educative boards and entice them to follow you, this interaction will help both parties, as a teacher, you will find it easy to Passover educative material to your students via their Pinterest feed, then also students will interact with your content through re-pinning and commenting on pinned content. You can also collaborate with your students through group pinning, in this case, you can create a classroom board where each of your students with permission can pin educative information they stumble on while surfing the internet. Students can use this opportunity to promote their own work which can go viral and increase on the student’s popularity on Pinterest.
- 4. Create Boards for Each Subject or Topic: It is good to be organized, as an educator; you can create as many boards as you want, but each board should be with its own theme. You can create pin boards for science, math, English, art, home economics, and much more. To make it simple for your students to understand each educative image you pin, you can write a brief description of about 50 – 100 words on each image.
- 5. Pin Info-graphs or Videos Which cover a subject or topic: Info-graphic photos and videos tend to teach better than normal images or pictures, an info-graphic image is edited and it includes descriptive text and statistics which can give a clear example to a student on any specific topic, sites like www.visual.ly have various info-graphs which you can pin for educational purposes. You can as well pin educative videos from Youtube and other video hosting services.
Below in an infographic describing more 16 ways to teachers use pinterest: