Pinterest Cheat Sheet {12 Days: Tool 8}

Tool 8Pinterest: ‘Eye Candy’ and So Much More!

Pinterest, a social sharing website that allow users to create and share virtual bulletin boards, has been the darling of social media over the past year. Its primarily female user base continues to grow by leaps and bounds. While you likely know teachers who have free Pinterest accounts, you may still be wondering if you belong on yet another social media site. “YES!” (Uttered quickly and with much enthusiasm!) And here’s why.

While Pinterest is exploding with fashion boards, trendy home decor, and to-die-for travel destinations (that sadly don’t fit my budget), it also includes many boards for educators. Pinterest, heavy on visual appeal, can serve as a great resource for such areas as: classroom decor, language arts. content areas, lesson plans, technology tools, professional books, and much, much more! Your boards can also be a resource for students (age 13+ according to Pinterest regulations), teachers, and parents.

If you’re a newbie to Pinterest, listed below are a few must-know terms and how-to’s. With a few quick tips, Pinterest can help you organize the internet jumble of resources for teachers and students. If you’re a full-fledged addict, er, Pinterest Pro, skip to How Educators Use Pinterest or simply download today’s Pinterest Cheat Sheet that also includes many ideas for boards.

PinPinterest: Pinning Basics

  • Pinterest—a social media site that allows users to create and share virtual bulletin boards, or pinboards
  • Pin—an image added to a pinboard. A pin can be “pinned” from a website using the “Pin It” button or uploaded from images on a computer.
  • RePin—adding a pin from someone else’s board to one of your boards.
  • Boards—where you collect and categorize pins (images, videos, etc.)—organize by themes, topics, grade levels, months, content areas
  • “Pin It” Button—A “Pin It” button lets you easily grab great content from the web to add to your boards. Add to your browser toolbar.

 

How Educators Use Pinterest

Pinterest has been featured in numerous blog posts including TeachThought, Stephen’s Lighthouse, Cool Cat Teacher’s Blog, and many more. There are numerous inventive ways you can use Pinterest professionally. I’ve listed several simple ideas below and many more creative ideas are featured on the downloadable Pinterest Cheat Sheet.

  • Content:  Pinterest provides a simple platform to gather and curate content around specific topics such as Science experiments, classroom decor, classroom libraries, and much more! In the case of Pinterest, your interests and imagination are the only limit.
  • Collaboration: With the ability to invite other “Pinners” to add to your board, the doors are wide open to collaborate with other teachers to create 1 board or many with other teachers in your school or from across the world.Pinterest Cheat Sheet
  • Subject Area Boards: Gather and upload content from your computer or “pin it” from the web for each subject area/content area you teach.
  • Technology Tools: I confess that some of my favorite boards are those that feature technology and specific examples of how to use tech tools personally and to enrich and expand student learning.
  • Community Boards for Student Research Projects: Create a community board that students can pin to when collecting research for group projects.
  • Student Work: Post student projects to a board. Using specific criteria, students can view and comment below each project.
  • Balanced Literacy: Boards for language arts and literacy include: anchor charts, literacy workstations, read alouds, mentor texts, independent reading, literacy-rich classrooms, and more!

 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

This truism rings even more true on Pinterest. One of the keys to Pinterest is in providing great images on your boards! On the surface, Pinterest is a visual platform full of never-ending streams of eye candy. If you upload images from your computer, make them easily identifiable by adding key-word labeling right on the image. Many photo editing programs make that a snap; I use PPT to label photos and content icons, then save as pictures and upload to Pinterest. When pinning from the web, choose images/text/videos carefully so that your boards feature useful content. Additionally, take time to comment below images so that each one is easily understood. If you’ve hung out on Pinterest, you know how frustrating it is to click on an image to go to the original source only to find the image on the board was misleading.

After entering the world of “pins” and “virtual bulletin boards,” you’ll find browsing simple and scrolling through images much easier than finding bookmarked sites. And, while Pinterest is appealing to the eyes, it’s really not just about the visuals since each image is linked to content which provides a wealth of resources for your specific professional interests and needs.

Convinced? Go Forth and Pin!

After you’ve joined Pinterest, be sure to follow Learning Unlimited’s boards - we have about 40 boards and nearly 800 pins to support balanced literacy instruction.

Most of all, join in the mix and begin creating and organizing boards perfectly suited for your grade level, content area, educational interests, and students. Have fun! Your boards may provide inspiration and be of great benefit to teachers, students, and parents near and far!

{12 Days: 12 Tools} Tool 8 is the Pinterest Cheat Sheet for Educators (see image) which includes:

  • Pinterest: Tips, Tricks & Words to the Wise*
  • Pinterest Boards: Ideas for Educators

 

Download today’s tool by clicking the tag below.

Check back tomorrow for {12 Days: 12 Tools} Tool 9.

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Kimberly

Kimberly is an educational consultant who works with district leaders to improve instructional effectiveness and student learning. No Tears for Tiers, a book about Common Core Vocabulary that she is writing, will be published by Solution Tree in 2014. In her other life, you'll find her in her gardens, biking, reading, or hanging out with her two teenagers (when they let her, that is).