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Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Smore is a free website that allows you to make colorful, online posters {You do have the option to print it when you're finished.}

Every year, during the organisms and environments unit in my 4th grade Science Lab class, I ask students to create an organism of their own with certain adaptations. It's a big ordeal, but I am always amazed and so impressed with the results.

I won't go into too many details about the project, but one of the requirements is to create a write-up for the science notebook that includes all of the necessary details. I give students a template, and they just fill it in with their information.

The template gets the job done, but it is rather boring to look at. I think this works against me when I go to explain the project to the students; I am always looking for a way to spice up the lessons!

Since finding Smore, I decided to use it to display my example. Below, I'll show you screenshots of the features of Smore while I'm working on my poster. At the bottom of this post, you'll get a chance to see my finished project.

  • Make up to 5 flyers totally free. {After that, it costs 1 credit to make 1 flyer, and the price looks steep for this frugal gal. Check out the screenshot of their current credit prices below:}
  • Send up to 200 e-mails per month {links to your flyers}
  • Create really pretty flyers either starting with a template or from scratch

The beauty about the template is that Smore has already inserted elements that are common for that type of flyer onto the template, so all you have to do is edit. 
  • Choose from 5 different designs

  • Choose from 12 different backgrounds -- all of which are pathetic, in my opinion. {If you want to upload your own, you have to pay. Of course.}

  • Pick a color from 21 options

  • Choose from 6 different fonts

  • Add 11 different elements to your flyer. Drag and drop to put them exactly where you want them on your flyer. {The 12th element, payment is added if you purchase a paid plan from Smore.}

Hover over an element to see a plus sign to easily add an element right there on the flyer.

Also by hovering, you can click the "x" to delete an element or click the pencil icon to edit it.

  • When you go to publish, you can change your settings to allow/disable comments, your name and profile information, social media sharing buttons, and related flyers. You can also change the privacy of your flyer and any of your profile information. 

  • After publishing, you have the option to share via 5 social networking sites, embed it on a blog or other website, and to share via e-mail. 

  • Also after publishing your flyer, you have the option to go back and edit it, preview how it will look to your audience members who receive the link, and print it {in standard quality -- not high-res -- and with a Smore ad on it}. You can also see how many people have viewed your flyer, although keep in mind that this does include you when you click the "preview" button. :) Finally, you have the official link so that you can put it in an e-mail on your own without using any of your e-mail credits. 


  • New users get 5 credits when they sign up. Each flyer you make costs you 1 credit. If you pay for a subscription to Smore, you get new credits each month. But if you're just on a free plan, it looks like the only ways to earn more credits is to create a new account with a different e-mail address or to purchase new credits or a monthly subscription. I'm really annoyed about this. However, Smore does have an education plan for a steep discount {compared to their other paid plans, which range from $240/year to $1200/year!} -- read more about it in the next section.
  • Limited background and template choices. Not a huge deal, but can be annoying if you're working on something special because, like I said, the background picture options are truly pathetic. 
  • As far as I could figure out, the gallery has 3 pictures in it -- no more, no less. Logically, I'm thinking that number has got to be customizable, but I couldn't figure out how!
I've been trying to think of a work-around for the 5-credits thing because I rarely pay for online stuff {why pay when you can get it for free?}. You could just sign up for a new account with a different e-mail address after you hit your limit. OR I suppose you could just edit your existing flyers and download them as a picture file before re-using that template for the next flyer. That doesn't help if you want kids to use it, and it would be a pain, but I think that would be the best option if you're going to go the free route.

I don't normally advocate for paying for things since, you know, teachers aren't typically millionaires. :) However, the educator plan {$60/year} looks like a good deal if you're thinking of using Smore for classroom newsletters or with students during projects and assignments. Here are some of the cool features of the educator plan, in case you're thinking of purchasing it:

  • Use your own custom backgrounds
  • Make flyers private by default to protect students' privacy
  • Send up to 5,000 e-mails monthly
  • Get analytics for the e-mails you send out {read more about that by clicking here}. Let's say, for example, that you use Smore as a classroom newsletter website, and you send it in an e-mail to the parents each month. With this plan, Smore allows you to see who is opening your e-mails -- and who isn't -- and who clicks on any links inside them. 
  • No ads on the flyer
  • Ability to download a high-quality jpg {picture file} of your flyer so that it will print nicely, if you need it
  • Make unlimited flyers

Uses for the Classroom
  1. As you'll see below, you can use it as an example for any project or assignment. It's nice for those things because it's quick and easy to make, you can add media anywhere in the flyer, you can print it for kiddos who need a copy at their desk while they work,  and it will display nicely when projected on the Promethean. 
  2. Piggybacking off of idea #1, you could use Smore to post assignments for a flipped classroom. For instance, if you created 1 flyer per lesson that you teach, you could embed picture examples or a teaching video into the flyer, step-by-step instructions about what you want students to do, etc. Then you could embed all the lessons in a unit or semester onto one class page. All you'd have to do after that is give students the link to that one class page, and they'd know the agenda for the entire class. 
  3. Create your classroom newsletter with Smore. You can even utilize the flyer options for parents to subscribe to your mailing list and click a button to e-mail you easily. 
  4. Have students use Smore for project creation or even a portfolio. Of course, you'd have to purchase the $60/year education plan, but you could always try to make a case for it to our generous PTOs. :) 

I used Smore to make an example poster for our 4th grade adaptation project. I embedded the poster onto the instruction page of our class website, and I can display the poster on the Promethean during instruction and/or print it so that students have a copy at their table while they're working. Here's my finished poster:


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

SafeShare for YouTube

Our district allowed YouTube access to our employees last spring -- hooray!

But with this new freedom comes great responsibility. We know that YouTube has all kinds of advertisements floating around their site. We also know that there is a list of "related videos" on the sidebar that may or may not be appropriate for the kids to see. 

The good news is, there is a website that allows you to block all the other junk on YouTube and just show the video you want to share. It's called SafeShare.

  • Free. No need to sign up for an account.
  • Insert the link to any YouTube video into the box above the "generate safe link" button. Click the green button to view the video with a black box around it -- which blocks all the extra {and sometimes inappropriate} stuff that YouTube normally has next to and around the video. 
  • Crop the video to whichever starting and stopping points you prefer. 
  • Share the cropped/safe video via e-mail or on social media. 
  • The link to your safe video never expires, so you can put it on assignments and class websites without worry.

Take this video, for instance: 

When we watch it on my blog, we get rid of all the weird links that are featured on the side. Here's how the video's page looks when you watch it on YouTube:

Er... video suggestions #5 and 6 don't look like anything I'd like to share with my students. So let's put the link into the website and see what happens.

First, I put the link into the box, and then I click the big, green button. 

The bottom half of the picture above appears underneath the green button after you click it. 

Clicking on "customize video" gives you these options:
You can change the name of the video by editing the words in the top text box.

To change the "theme" of the video -- the background color of the box around your video, basically -- click on the black box. You see these options:

Not a lot of theme options, but the black works just fine for my class, so I always just leave it there. 

If you need to crop the video, click the word "full" and see a pop-up screen similar to this:

To set a starting point, play the video, and click "beginning" whenever you're at the part of the video you want to show first. 

To set an end time, just play the video and click "end" whenever you want. If you click "OK," these settings will be saved, and the video will be cropped appropriately in the link. 

Once you're satisfied, click "take me to the safe view."

I did crop this picture a little bit so you could see the smaller words on the bottom more easily, but rest assured that the rest of the screen is that dark grey/light black color -- no inappropriately suggested videos on the side anymore! 

By utilizing the links right underneath the video, you can download the video to your computer (with the appropriate crops still applied), save the video by bookmarking it on your computer, or share it in a plethora or ways:

You can even scroll down on that page to view more share options; I haven't even heard of some of those websites! 

The good news, though, is that if you choose to save the link anywhere -- in your e-mail, on your Symbaloo account, bookmarked in your browser, whatever -- you can always go back to that exact video, as long as the original poster on YouTube doesn't remove their content. 

SafeShare even has an app available in the iTunes store. On the app's description page, it shows these two pictures to give you a glimpse of how SafeShare works:

This could come in handy if you use an iPad or two for stations; you could rest assured that students are seeing only the content you want them to see. 

Anyway. That's how I can confidently show YouTube videos in my classroom. It's so much easier than downloading a video at home and transferring it through my Dropbox account to school every time I want to show something! 

Facebook: Ideas for Use

Now that you've successfully set up a Facebook class page, it's time to start using it. 

Here are my ideas about how to use Facebook in the classroom:
  1. Host discussions. Maybe instead of having students post comments to a blog, you could have them answer discussion questions found on your Facebook page. You could also consider hosting weekly discussions where students get to ask questions about materials -- homework? -- for an hour or so. Facebook makes it easy to reply to certain comments or to just post a general comment on someone's wall.
  2. Post updates. This tip is vague because there are a ton of things you could post. Check out my article on ways to use Twitter in the classroom; a lot of those ideas could be used on Facebook, as well. 
  3. Create events. Maybe you could create an event about a large, upcoming exam, or a project that's on the horizon. You could also do silly things to boost camaraderie between classmates -- like participating in "talk like Shakespeare day." 
  4. Have students share book reviews in wall messages.
  5. Use Facebook apps. Teaching economics? Find a game that makes kids set up their own business. Want a summary of something? Have kids log on to the bumper sticker app to find a sticker that summarizes a character of chapter of a [text]book. Want to conduct a poll? Use the poll app to get some answers. 
  6. Keep up with current events. Find groups over world events and ask students to learn more, discuss, and/or get involved. 
  7. Teaching government? Have students friend a politician and ask him/her questions. 
  8. Post multimedia. Share videos of things related to your class's materials, podcasts you've made, pictures that go along with that day's assignment, etc. 
  9. Have students post multimedia. Refer to the suggestion above, but make posting the students' responsibility. 
  10. Create photo albums of special events or lessons in your classroom so that families can see what's happening in your class, even while they're at work. 
  11. If you wanted to flip your classroom, you could post all of the assignments and due dates on your class Facebook page. If you needed the students to download something, you could post a link to the document in your Dropbox or other cloud storage

Facebook: Setting up a Page for Your Class

I don't have a classroom Facebook page, and I don't think I ever will. Although it has a lot of advantages, I strongly dislike Facebook in all senses -- mostly because of how it constantly changes privacy settings without letting users know. I don't think it should be Mark Zuckerberg's decision what I share on Facebook; I think it should be my decision. I also don't like how things that you delete on Facebook aren't ever really gone... but that's another post for another day. :) Anyway, I don't have a class Facebook page to share with you as an example. 

However, I won't judge you if you want to have a class Facebook page. :) I know a few people that have them, and it seems to work well for them. If you think you'd like to try it, read on. 

Other note: I am a huge proponent of keeping personal and professional lives separated. I do not recommend that any teacher "friend" students or parents from their personal Facebook page, and I would not post on a class Facebook page with my personal account. Just my two cents. :)

Benefits to a Class Facebook Page

  • Most people already have Facebook accounts -- particularly adults. This makes it very easy for them to click the "like" button and receive your updates.
  • If you already have a personal Facebook account, you can use that same account to create a class page. {That's one less username and password to remember.} Supposedly, your personal Facebook page and its information will never be seen on your fan page. 
  • You can encourage parents and/or students to hold discussions on the Facebook wall. Easily reply to each post or add to the discussion yourself -- all posing as "the fan page." 
  • Share whole albums of photos 
  • Create events -- like holiday parties or field trips -- and "invite" all necessary people to attend. It's an easy way to share time/date/direction information and any last minute notices. 
  • You can update the page from the web and from an app, although you'll want to download the special Facebook pages app to avoid mistakenly posting as your personal Facebook account. 
Setting Up Your Account
These instructions assume you already have a personal Facebook page. Setting up a fan page {what a class Facebook page is technically called} works basically the same way whether or not you have a personal Facebook account already, but a few of the options will be different.

Log in to your Facebook account. Look at the top, blue status bar and click the farther button that you can; it looks like an upside down pyramid. 

A drop-down menu will appear. Find this section in the menu:

Click "create page." You'll see a page that looks like this:

This is the part where you choose the category that your class page best fits under. Personally, I think it best fits under the 2nd category, "company, organization, or institution." That's what I clicked for the purposes of this tutorial.

When you click it, new options appear in that box:

In the first box, choose the drop-down option that says, "education."

In the text box right underneath that, type in the name of your page. For instance, mine might be something like, "Mrs. K's Class" or "OUES Science Lab." 

Follow the workflow on the pages that follow to finish setting it up:

Once you finish setting it up, your page almost looks like an empty personal Facebook profile page:

If you scroll down on that page, you'll see the option to invite people on your friend's list to "like" your page. 

At the top of the page, you'll see 3 tabs: page, activity, and settings. Click on "settings" to customize to your liking. Personally, I would do the following...

In the general section:
  1. Disable the option for people to contact my page privately. Private contact means that people can message you so that only you and the other person can see it. When it comes to messages, I don't think privacy is a good thing in education! I'd disable it so students couldn't message me and potentially put both of us in an awkward situation. 
  2. Moderate the page, at least at first. You'll have to approve of everything that's posted on the page, but that might be necessary when you are trying to get your students to understand how to post responsibly. 
  3. Turn the profanity filter on.
In the app section:
  1. Enable video, events, and notes. 
That's it! Give your Facebook URL to students and parents either in class, via e-mail, on your other social networking sites, or on your class website. They can easily "like" your fan page through their personal Facebook accounts, and you can begin utilizing it for educational purposes. {Keep in mind, though, that you can only change your page's URL once, so choose wisely!}

Things to Consider:
  1. If you'd rather your students not see your personal profile in any way, always opt to comment and post on your page as [name of page], even when using Facebook as [your name]. This means that if you comment on anything on your page, the comment will display as being from "[Name of Your Page]," instead of from your personal Facebook page. To do this, click "edit info" and "settings." Click the first box on the page and click "save changes."
  2. Download the free Facebook Pages Manager app for iOS devices; it lets you manage your page on the go without having to worry about it accidentally connecting to your personal information. 

Hope that helps!

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:


Pinterest: Getting Started

Pinterest is a free social networking site that officially made its debut about 3 years ago. I remember  because I'd just gotten married and was really bitter that I couldn't use Pinterest to plan the wedding. ;)

  • Free
  • Create boards onto which you can "pin" (or save) ideas from other websites
  • Very visual, which makes it easy to find what you need
  • Make boards public or private
  • Collaborate on boards with other Pinterest users, which means you both share the pinning responsibility
  • Embed boards onto other websites, such as a blog or classroom website
  • Pin ideas from any website, as long as it has a picture
  • Upload your own pictures and pin them
  • Add descriptions of pins, which you can later use to search your pins quickly to find what you need
  • Use the app to search or pin on the go
  • Browse other peoples' pins and have the option to pin their ideas, too

How Do I Get Started? 
  • Go to I think the background of Pinterest changes frequently, like Google, so don't be alarmed if it doesn't look exactly like the picture below...

You can choose to sign up with your Facebook account, which means Pinterest will take all the information you've given to Facebook and use it to set up an account. From then on, you'll have to log in to Pinterest with your Facebook login. 

I never log in to anything with my Facebook account, and let me tell you why: as much as I love social media, I also love my privacy. I don't appreciate personal stuff begin shared unless I actively choose to share it. Facebook is terrible about privacy, so I give them limited information. I also don't ever want to "log in with Facebook" because not only will it be harder for me to delete my Facebook account if I ever choose to, but I think that somehow, Facebook will use the information that I put on that connected site for their benefit. {That may just be my paranoia talking, though. :) }

*End rant. Moving on.*

If you're like me and want to maintain some semblance of privacy, you may want to "sign up with e-mail" {bottom, silver button}. 

Enter a few basic tidbits of information:

and you're ready to rock 'n roll. It's been so long since I signed up for a Pinterest account, I don't exactly remember what happens after this. I think that Pinterest will prompt you to find people to follow; if that's the case, you can skip all that and come back to following others in a little bit. 

Everyone's home page looks a little difference, depending on whom they're following and which boards they are subscribed to. Here's what my home page looks like:

You can see pins about science activities, food, decor, traveling, and working out. That does a pretty good job of summarizing my subscriptions, actually. :)

You can use the search bar in the top, left corner to search for anything. You can search by keyword, pinner, or board. 

The button with the 3 lines on it in the left corner leads to a drop-down menu like this:

These are all the categories that Pinterest currently has. They've added several in the last few years. Like I said above, education wasn't a category until a year or two ago, when Pinterest saw how teachers were utilizing their product.

If you just want to browse by category, that ^^^ is where you'd go.

Over on the right, we have some other options:

Clicking the + button gives me a drop-down menu with 3 options: upload a pin, add from a website, or create a board. 

Create a board means you're going to do just that: create a board. When you create a board, you have to give it a name and pick a category for it to be in. For instance, my education board is in the "education" category. That way, when people are just browsing by category, and they browse the education category, they see pins from my board, as well. 

We'll talk about adding pins later in this post. 

There's a button to the right of your name that has two push pins on it.

You'd see a long list of all the people who have repinned from you, commented on something of yours, or started following something of yours.

That button is for your notifications. I rarely -- if ever -- look at my notifications because they don't hold as much value as the notifications you get on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. On Pinterest, you get notifications any time someone re-pins or likes one of your pins, comments on one of your pins, or starts following one of your boards.  Although Pinterest is considered "social networking," the only notification that ever even remotely requires your attention is the comment, and sometimes that doesn't even need your attention. You see, people will tag others to show them pins instead of e-mailing the pin to them or re-pinning it themselves. I'm not sure why... they just do. So half the time when you get comments, people don't even want to talk to you -- they want to show someone something on your website. 

That's why I think Pinterest is the least social of any of the social media sites {even though it still has plenty to offer educators!}


Clicking on your name reveals this drop-down menu:

Let's go from the bottom up. Logging out removes access to your profile and password from that browser until you log in again. Visit help center gives you the support you need -- see some FAQs by clicking HERE. Follow boards gives you suggestions of boards you can follow. Find friends lets you connect your Pinterest account to Twitter or Facebook to invite friends to join or see if any of your friends already have a Pinterest account; you'd then be able to follow their boards. Settings gives you the opportunity to change your e-mail and password, language, and profile information. Your profile and pins lets you take a look at your personal Pinterest page, which is similar to your personal Facebook and Twitter pages -- it just has your information on it and no one else's. 

Here's a peek at my profile page:

I started this Pinterest profile specifically so I could post it on this blog, so that's why I don't have much pinned or many followers yet. :)
Notice that you can create a board from this page by clicking the + sign on the left. If you click that option, you'd have to name your board, assign a category to it, and decide on your privacy settings. You'd also have the opportunity to add a description before the board is created. 

The 3 large squares you see are 3 of my boards. You can see in the top left corner that I have 64 boards. ...I should probably be embarrassed about that, but if you know me, then it's no secret that I like organization, so it makes sense, right?

The smaller squares you see inside the boards are my "pins." You get to decide which cover image you want for each board -- that is, I chose to display that rose gold ring at the top of my "accessories" board, and I could've chosen any other picture that I'd pinned to the board, as well. 

You have the option to drag your boards on your profile page and organize them any way you see fit. Again, if you know me, it should come as no surprise that my boards are alphabetized... hah. 

Users can find your personal Pinterest page by either typing in your profile's URL directly, or by searching for your name in the search box.

I can click on any of my boards to see a complete list of all the things I've pinned to it. Let's look at my board about QR codes:

You can see that I chose this picture of the QR codes in a notebook as my cover picture, but there are 23 other pins inside that board. When I click the board, I see this page:

You see the title of my board at the top {"QR Codes in Education} and a view of all the things I've pinned to the board underneath. Obviously, you'd have to scroll down to see the rest of my pins. I can edit the board from this screen {choose the name of it, the category it's in, the description, etc.}, send the board {e-mail the direct link to someone}, and add a widget of this board to my website {that's my clicking the < > button}. Clicking the widget button means that Pinterest automatically builds the HTML code for you, and all you have to do is copy and paste it. Below is an example:

It's nice because users can interact with the board from your website instead of just clicking on linked text to find it. If I add anything to my teaching board between now and the time you read this, you'll see the new pins and updated information about the number of pins on my board when you read this blog post.

Because I just started this Pinterest account today, I don't have any followers on the board. But when I get some, the number of followers will appear in the top, right corner. If I were to click on that number, I would go to a page that shows the profiles of every follower for that board. It's a great way to see if your students or parents are following your board {if you're asking them to for academic reasons} and/or to find other people with similar interests that you can follow.

To pin to a board from another picture on Pinterest
Let's say you're browsing the education section of Pinterest and find a picture that you want to add to your board. Hover over the picture and notice the red button that says "Pin it." 

Click that button and see a pop-up that looks like this:

Click the drop-down menu next to the word "board" to choose which board you're pinning that image to. Change the description to whatever you want. {Often, websites will pre-fill the description slot with credit information. You can leave it, delete it, change it... whatever.} Click "pin it" and watch as that pin is added to your board. 

To pin to a board from another website
Click the "add from a website" button in the middle. Copy and paste the URL of the website you want to pin. If Pinterest can find an image, it will ask you which image you want to use, which board you want to pin to, and if you want to add a description.

You can also get the pin it button directly in your browser. It will look something like this:

To pin from another website, you just visit the website from your browser. Click the "pin it" button at the top of your browser while you're still on the website you want to pin. A pop-up will appear and ask you which of your boards you want to pin that image, and if you want to add a description. It's pretty handy! Learn how to get the pin it button in your browser by clicking here

To pin a picture from your computer

Click "upload a pin." A pop-up will appear that lets you choose where, from your computer, you are going to get the picture. Choose the file and follow the workflow. You'll be directed to choose a board to add the pin to, and to add a description before clicking "pin" to make it official. 

Sharing a pin with someone else
Pinterest gives you the ability to share a pin {and a board, and a profile} with anyone else -- even if they're not on Pinterest. 

All you have to do is find the paper airplane symbol on whatever you'd like to share. {You may need to hover over the shared object in order for the paper airplane symbol to appear.} Click it.

If you've already sent pins to other people, the last 3-4 people you sent to will appear as options for you to just click and send. But if you haven't sent any pins yet, your "send" pop-up will look like what you see above. If you see pictures available, you can click the user's picture to send them something again. Otherwise, type a message near your profile picture, and then type the person's e-mail address in the search box. If the person you're sending to has a Pinterest page with that e-mail address, Pinterest will send them a notification via e-mail and on their Pinterest profile page that you sent them something to look at. If they don't have an account with that e-mail address, Pinterest will just send them an e-mail with a link to the pin and your message {if you chose to write one}. 

Secret boards
Pinterest introduced the concept of secret boards a year or so ago. Until then, every single thing you did on Pinterest was public. Now you have the ability to create secret boards so that you can pin things that only you will see. I use this to pin gift ideas so that I don't ruin surprises. :) 

To make a secret board, you simply need to create a new board {+ sign, create a board}. When you are presented with you pop-up of all the options surrounding your new board, just toggle the switch next to the "Keep it a Secret?" option. When the switch turns red, you'll know your new board is going to be private.

Be aware that you can edit your pinned items and move them from your secret board to a public board, but it does not work the other way. If you want to move a public pin to a secret board, you have to re-pin it in your secret board. 

Also be aware that you can change your private boards to public at any time, but you cannot change public boards to private. {Again, you would have to re-pin all the images on that board to a private one.}

Once you create a private board, you'll see a "lock" symbol next to its name to signal to you that this board is only available for your eyes.

I'd love to know more of your ideas for using Pinterest in the classroom! I know that once you get the hang of it, you'll want to pin 24/7 like I do! Be's addicting! :)

If you want to follow my educational technology Pinterest, feel free to click the link below:

Visit Candice's profile on Pinterest.