The hottest education topics on Pinterest

The social media site Pinterest can and should be used as a classroom resource

pinterest logoThe social media site Pinterest is perhaps best known as a hub for swapping recipes, wedding planning tips, and “do-it-yourself” ideas. But as technological innovations and education intersect more and more, could Pinterest also be used as a classroom resource?

As it turns out, the the answer is yes.

There is a thriving community of educators and education companies pinning to their hearts’ desires. Pinterest being what it is, there is certainly a hodgepodge of organizational and decorating tips (like this cute DIY planter) for the classroom. But if you look beyond this jumble of arts and crafts, there are legitimate educational resources being pinned – sometimes, entire boards.

Much of this content seems destined for teachers to use, because it is usually created by teachers rather than administrators, and is often pinned to their personal accounts. But Pinterest does offer a wider range of ed-tech tools, from individual pins linked to mobile technology articles to entire Pinterest accounts run by school districts.

(Next page: Educational apps, STEM and Common Core)

Although there is a variety of education-linked content available, several specific trends within this broader category do stand out. One of the most prevalent patterns is Pinterest boards dedicated to educational apps, which could be a resource for parents as well as educators. With titles such as “Fun Yet Educational Apps,” and “iPad Education & Apps,” there are plenty of options to explore.

A second key educational trend on Pinterest is the notable amount of STEM resources available. Many of these pins suggest fun science experiments and games for kids, but some are more high tech. For example, some STEM pins link to articles about how to enrich curriculum with digital STEM content, or use mobile devices with STEM apps in the classroom.

The Common Core has not gone unnoticed, either.

Much of this material focuses on helping teachers adapt their current curriculum to the new Core standards. But there are also many boards focusing on Common Core resources with pins that link to articles about how the Common Core will impact classrooms and students’ education. The website Edutopia has an entire board dedicated to supporting the Common Core; in contrast, some individual account holders pin material such as “Stop Common Core,” and openly criticize it.

There are also an abundance of pins and boards aimed at specific subjects, such as language arts or foreign languages. These are peppered with technology-related pins; one example is an infographic titled “Bye-Bye Textbooks! How Digital Devices Are Reshaping Education.” Pins featuring educational apps are also very popular, and even more so with apps geared toward specific courses.

More generally, Pinterest also features a lot of education and technology content for early education, special education, homeschooling, and high school (mostly college preparation materials). Within all of these groups, as well as those listed above, there are a wealth of pins and boards offering technological resources for any classroom, for kids at any age.

Carly Buchanan is an editorial intern at eSchool News.

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