I started using Pinterest shortly after its creation several years ago. Since my first day of messing around on it and creating different “boards”, I have been slightly addicted. It is so easy to sit down and spend hours pinning and organizing hundreds of fabulous ideas. For years, I used Pinterest solely for ways and ideas to better myself: recipes that were sure to turn me into a gourmet chef, exercise plans that would make me look like a fitness model, DIY projects and crafts that would allow me to rival Martha Stewart, and home improvement ideas that were sure to land me a job on HGTV. It was fun, easy-to-use, and motivating (even if it really didn’t accomplish any of those things).
It wasn’t until probably just over six months ago that I started using Pinterest as a way of helping me grow professionally. I had heard stories of other teachers using Pinterest for ideas, but, honestly, up to that point I really didn’t want my Pinterest boards to be about work. When I decided to switch teaching positions, however, I was looking for any ideas I could find to use in my new middle school classroom. It was then that I created a “Classroom/School” board, and I have been pinning like crazy to it ever since. It has led me to some great teacher-blogs, bulletin board ideas, freebie sites for teachers, and Teachers Pay Teachers units that I have used in my classroom.
Furthermore, I have started “following” my some of my colleagues’ boards, and we have been able to bounce ideas off of each other based on things we see each other pin.
When I attended the Regional 1:1 Tech Conference at AEA267 in Cedar Falls, I noticed that there was a session about Pinterest, I was curious to see what more I could learn. Honestly, when the session first started, I thought that it would be a waste of my time. The presenter was showing how to join Pinterest and how to create and organize boards, things I had known for years. However, she quickly caught my attention when she started sharing some awesome ideas on how to use Pinterest in the classroom. She gave me ideas that maybe should have seemed obvious, but, for some reason, had never really crossed my mind.
1. Have students use Pinterest boards for group projects. You can create boards that multiple people can pin to, so students in a group could all originally pin ideas that they want to bring to the group. This would almost be like an individual brainstorm session before the group came together; it would give a “voice” to every student in the group. Additionally, it would allow them to all visually see and keep track of ideas. They could easily delete things they want to at any time. For example, they could pin pictures they want to include in a presentation, YouTube videos that deal with their topic, great websites to visit, etc.
2. Have students individually use a board to keep track of research. It would almost be like creating an annotated bibliography. They could pin each site they visit and write themselves a brief note in the Comments area about what information was on that site. This would be a great way to keep all of their sources available in one place.
3. Use a Pinterest board as a book project. Students could create a board named after their book title and then pin things that relate to various aspects of the book such as plot, characters, setting, theme, symbolism, etc. Again, they could explain their pins in the comments section. It would be a fun and easy way for the students to view each other’s’ projects as well; they would simply have to follow each other’s boards.
I’m sure there are numerous other ways students could use Pinterest in a classroom, but these were some great ideas to get me started!