While you may have pinned recipes, outfits, workouts, and a range of things for your personal life, have you put this online tool to use to enhance your professional life? If not, you're missing out on some great opportunities. Here's how to use Pinterest as an educator:
- Professional Development: Establish a board for articles you'd like to read yourself or share with staff. Before your next staff training, establish a board with materials you'd like them to review beforehand, and use that board for staff to publish examples of putting those ideas into practice. Pinterest can easily become an online PD library for your staff and you.
- Digital Portfolio: Whether you are showcasing your own work or providing a platform to display student work, Pinterest provides an opportunity to increase your audience beyond the walls of your learning environment, and all educators know that audience matters to students—it gives relevance to their work. Creating a teaching portfolio might also help you be ready to present yourself well, when the perfect job comes along.
- Online Discussions: With its online comment capabilities, Pinterest boards provide students (and parents, staff, and others) the opportunity to respond to what has been pinned. Whether you pin a prompt for students to respond to, or have students create their own boards for discussion (which would be handy for collaborative projects), Pinterest boards are yet another way to provide students with a voice.
- Resources for Lessons and Activities: Rather than maintaining a folder with lists, print outs, and old magazine clippings, keep your resources neatly organized online. You can use classified boards to keep things private, and escape the madness of trying to find that idea you saw online months ago. Once you've got it pinned, it's no trouble to find it.
- A Vehicle for Student Learning and Assessment: The possibilities are endless here, but can you imagine what a board devoted to Albert Einstein, or Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, or the concept of force might look like? Pinterest boards could be a place for students to organize their research, as well as present it in an innovative format.
- Prepare for a Trip: If you are taking students somewhere, what a great place to communicate with students and parents! And when the trip is over, Pinterest would be a great place to share photos and memories.
- Share Your Wisdom: Whether it is a cool project idea (extra credit for showing alignment to the Common Core!) an effective rubric, Venn diagram, or other cool infographic, by sharing what you've developed, you help others in the field.
To see some of the innovative ways educators are using Pinterest, click here.
Written by Jennifer Reynolds, still learning new tricks after nineteen years in the classroom. She is also Group's Today magazine's staff writer.