Many aspiring crafters and cooking fanatics are familiar with Pinterest, a social media site set up like a virtual bulletin board in which users “pin” favorite home décor, cooking, and craft ideas. But now education is hopping on the Pinterest bandwagon, as teachers and administrators are quickly discovering that the site is replete with resources for students of all ages and abilities.
Users may sign up for a Pinterest account using an eMail address, and create boards for different topics. They can search for specific ideas, or “pins,” or browse through popular pins and filter by subject. Pinterest is public, and users can follow other pinners much like they would on Twitter.
Pinterest automatically links a pin back to the site it comes from, so that users do not have to remember URLs. Installing a “Pin It” button on a browser task bar enables users to pin any image or idea they see on any website they visit.
During a crowded afternoon session at the Texas Computer Education Association’s annual conference in Austin, presenters Janet Corder and Joan Gore of technology professional development group J2 Training guided attendees through popular educational Pinterest accounts and shared their tips for effective pinning and using Pinterest in the classroom.
While Pinterest does not have as much inappropriate content as other public sites, Corder advised against using it with students because teachers aren’t able to designate what material students may or may not view.
(Next page: Popular educational Pinterest boards, and tips for using the site)