Pinterest as an educational tool, this is something I’ve been exploring recently. Of course, as an educator this is a fantastic platform to pull together resources and tools for developing pedagogy, network with other professionals and share good practice. There are some fantastic people in education utilising Pinterest who I recommend checking out:
However, I wanted to take this a step further and integrate this into my classroom, therefore the students learning experience, with the aim of further developing collaborative learning. So here’s 4 simple steps to getting starting with integrating Pinterest in your classroom:
1. Invest time in familiarising learners with Pinterest and discuss its potential uses/advantages. I also demonstrated how I use Pinterest and a rich debate ensued about its potential uses across the Curriculum.
2. Students register and link their newly created Pinterest account to their School/College email account, I made it explicit that this would be their educational account and should they wish to create their own personal Pinterest account they would need to link that to their personal email account.
3. Encourage students follow you, the teacher and reciprocate, follow them back. This is the start of building the online classroom community.
4. Create a group board, exclusive to the class (this could be year group, key stage etc… should you wish) and send an invite to pin to those students. This reinforces the exclusivity and accountability of every single student within the group. In addition it also serves to prevent other people outside of your chosen students/groups from pinning on the group board(s).
I have recently started a project with my ICT class, based around the differences between the teenagers of today and those of the 1980’s. Ultimately students are going to put together a short film outlining their views. Where I’ve found Pinterest to be particularly useful in this context is allowing students to research in collaboration, here’s a short overview of the 15 minute learning flow:
1. Following the topic brief, students spend no more than 10 minutes exploring the web for all aspects of the 1980’s – this could be the clothes worn, food eaten, trends at the time, technology etc…..
2. Students pin anything they feel is relevant to the group board, at this point they are responsible for ensuring the content is suitable.
3. All learners now have access to a vast range of research material, collaboratively put together by the class in over half the time it would take an individual student to gather the same amount of information. The foundations are now in place for students to progress their work.
I realise this is only one small example in a vast array of potential applications of this platform, however I sincerely hope this has been helpful. Here’s another example of a reference board looking at infographics, put together by my Year 9 ICT class: Infographic reference board.
I highly recommend giving Pinterest a try, I’ve found that it engages and involves all students of all abilities, an inclusive dimension to any learning experience.
You can follow my Pinterest boards here.Follow @gary_s_king
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