Monday, June 23, 2014

Pinterest: Ideas for Use

Now that you know how to set up and account, make boards, pin things, and send pins to others on Pinterest, now it's time to discuss how to use it in the classroom.

Using it alone or with colleagues
  • Pin teacher-blogs you've been following so you can find them easily
  • Pin all the bookmarks you've got saved and visit regularly
  • Pin classroom pictures -- examples, set-up, etc.
  • Pin lesson plan ideas
  • Set up a collaborative board so you and your team can pin ideas together. If you upload your lesson plans to a cloud site, you could pin them on your collaborative board so that everyone has access

Teachers have overloaded Pinterest with teaching pins so much since Pinterest's release a few years ago so that Pinterest actually noticed! There is now an education category for boards, and Pinterest has named certain top bloggers as collaborators on large education boards.

For instance, here are the big, grade level boards, in case you want to browse them for cool ideas:
And my personal favorite: science. :) There are other "big, official" boards, but I'm not sure where they are. Maybe you will have luck Googling them. :)

Student use/resources: incorporate Pinterest into classroom projects and activities. Here are some ideas:
  1. Ask students to collect ideas/pictures about something in particular that you're studying. Maybe your kindergarten students are studying the letter "a" and will focus on collecting as many "a" items on their personal Pinterest board as possible. Maybe your secondary English students are studying hyperbole, and they need to collect as many real world examples of hyperbole on their board as possible. {This could be a home-extension project.} The beauty of Pinterest is that you can use it to pin anything, so no subject is off-limits. 
  2. Piggybacking off the idea above: students could take advantage of the iOS Pinterest app by using it to snap pictures of things in their day-to-day lives and pin them to a specific board. For instance, let's say that your kindergarten class (the one that's studying the letter "a") has a classroom set of iPod touches and a school-wide wifi connection. Why not send your students on a scavenger hunt for all items beginning with "a"? They could work in pairs or teams and walk the school grounds with the Pinterest app open. When they see an "a" item, all they have to do is snap a picture of it with the built-in camera on the app, and add it to the appropriate Pinterest board. When the students come back to class at the end of the hunt, the teacher can access the boards on her computer and project the results on the wall for everyone to see and analyze.  OR you could make it a competitive scavenger hunt and give each pair/group their own board.
  3. Pin boards full of examples for students to access at home or during class.
  4. Pin boards full of educational YouTube or Educreation videos.
  5. Pin boards full of quotes or images for bellwork or journal writing.
  6. Pin board full of tech tips, tools or websites that might be useful for students or parents.
  7. Pin boards full of writing prompts. You can either assign them, or students who are "stuck" and don't know what to write can access the board and pick a prompt to get them started. 
  8. Pin boards full of images to act as anticipatory sets. You could project them in class with the click of a couple buttons, and students can even comment on them {with their own Pinterest account} to start a discussion.
  9. Invite students to collaborate on a board: ELAR students can pin images of books they liked or would like to read, science students can pin pictures of experiments they'd like to try, math students could pin pictures of jobs that require math, social studies students could pin pictures of famous people and events from history, music students could pin images of their favorite artists or albums, and art students could pin pictures of their favorite artwork or upload their own. 
  10. Students could create an account and have private, collaborative {with you} boards where they pin their work. For instance, if a student wrote an essay in Google docs, she could take a screenshot of it and upload it to that Pinterest board. Then she could link that pin to her Google doc assignment so it's easy for the teacher to find and grade. 
  11. If students are making online portfolios, make one board that features everyone's portfolio so it's easy for you when it's time to grade. 
  12. Ask students to collect and organize information for, say, a research report. Let's say the students are studying Egypt and must write and present a report over Egypt to the class on x date. Why not use Pinterest to organize ideas? While surfing the web, students could pin useful articles and detailed, accurate pictures onto their Pinterest board. There's no more bookmarking tons of websites or writing down URLs on paper. Users can access Pinterest boards from any electronic device with internet capabilities, so their research is saved and accessible in a variety of places outside the walls of the school. In the event that a resource doesn't have a picture (a requirement for a pin), just take a screenshot and upload it.
  13. For group projects, group members can share ideas via collaborative Pinterest boards.
  14. Twitter user @teach46 suggests using it for getting-to-know-you activities at the beginning of school. I love the idea of students collecting images that tell me (and fellow classmates) more about their individual personalities, family life, hobbies, interests, etc.
  15. Twitter user @teach46 also suggests having students pin their personal goals. It would be interesting to have such a visual image of goals at the beginning of the year, and it could it updated whenever the students find a new goal and/or cross off one on the list.
  16. Another idea from Twitter user @teach46: use Pinterest in the ELAR classroom by having students create character charts that represent their favorite character in a novel they're reading. 
  17. Track extra credit points.  For instance, I had an on-going extra credit opportunity in my English I class a few years ago. My students were able to earn 2 bonus points every time they brought in a picture or example of something we'd learned in class. The idea was to get students to realize that examples of our lessons are EVERYWHERE in public, and that ELAR connects to the real-world at almost all moments of the day. Any time they saw a vocabulary word, author, concept, literary device, etc. that we had studied, they could earn bonus points. My catch was that no two people could present the same example; the first student to get that example to me was the one who got the points. If you had a collaborative Pinterest board (perhaps labeled "Extra Credit" or "Real Life Examples"), students could post those examples to the board and write their name in the description in order to claim the points. Other students would then not only know what examples had already been presented, but they would also be able to access all these real world examples and see how that subject pertains to life outside the classroom walls.
For those of you that need a little more Bloom's in your life:


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