The Direct Network


Are You Pinning yet?

Posted by Joe Clarkin on Mar 24, 2015 3:35:00 AM
Topics: social media, K-12

Pinterest goes far beyond recipes, memes and wishlists — it can actually be a great tool for schools as a whole, or for individual classrooms! article for In an Edutopia, Vicki Davis explains some strategies to maximize your pinning efforts. Read the following excerpt and then be sure to check out the full post. (And visit us on Pinterest, too!)

The PEW Research Center has found that 28 percent of online users are using Pinterest (compared to only 23 percent using Twitter). Women dominate Pinterest with 42 percent of women online using the site. With over 80 percent of teachers being women (PDF, 1.5MB), it makes sense that teachers are all over Pinterest sharing ideas for lesson plans, centers, and resources.

Pinterest is different from other sites. When you pin something, people will be looking at and repinning it years later. Pinterest may be the secret powerhouse of educational sharing. Here are 20 power tips that you can use in many areas of schools and your classroom.

Follow Boards or People

Check out these Pinterest tips from EdutopiaPinterest has a useful feature that lets you just follow just one board. Here's an example. If I look at super-teacher Laura Candler's Pinterest, I can click at the top right and follow everything she pins, or I can click "Follow" under her boards that interest me the most. So a math teacher can just follow Laura's math boards, and a curriculum director can just follow her Common Core board.

Find Your Friends

One of the fastest ways to build your PLN on a site is to find the friends you already email or follow. If you log into Pinterest's homepage, you'll see the "find your friends" button (or you can go here). Just click their names to follow them.

Make a Board When You Need It

Make boards as you find a reason to use them. That way you won't end up with empty boards. As you can see below, if you don't have a board, you can create it right there.

Make a Group Board

Curate with others when you go to a conference or when you're brainstorming about a topic. Just add them to the board by clicking the "invite others" button. Below, you can see how the OETC15 conference has presenters and participants pinning resources to a group board.

Make Private Boards

When planning for prom several years ago, my students and I had a private Pinterest board where we shared ideas. I've seen administrators invite staff members to share ideas for building plans, makerspace ideas, or school improvements. The only people who can see these boards are those who you add.

You can find a spot for up to three private boards if you scroll down below your other boards. I'm using this to pin ideas for my graphic designer as we develop my third book cover.

Bulk Move or Copy Pins

Now that you know about these exciting features, you may want to reorganize your pins. If you've tried this before and found that you had to do it one pin at a time, you're in luck! A new Pinterest feature lets you copy and move (or delete) pins in bulk. I do this when I have a new board and want to quickly add items that I've already pinned.

Rename Boards, Don't Delete Them

If you decide that you want to remove a board, reconsider. People are following that board and may wish to use those resources. Rename your board instead. The followers will still follow it, but it will be titled in a more useful way.

Use the Search Categories

The Pinterest search is fast, easy to use, and produces excellent results. I think this is why so many teachers love it. If you have just a minute to find a craft or idea, go here. The search box is on the top of every Pinterest page.

Add Pins to a Website

There are many options for adding Pinterest boards to a site using Pinterest widgets. Widgets are a great way to display photos if you're taking students on a trip. Coaches can add the pins to their websites so that teachers can quickly see resources, even if they haven't joined Pinterest.

Organize Videos

Organize and curate videos that you may want to use in your curriculum. With many teachers using the flipped classroom model, Pinterest is a perfect way of collecting videos to gather ideas or to use with students.

Edit the Pinterest Comments

You can add a comment under a pin. Just remember that it's copied over from the previous commenter. For this reason, you'll want to read the comment and make it your own. If you have a private board, this is also a wonderful way to converse about the things on the board.

Like Any Pin That Catches Your Eye

Sometimes you're just rushing through Pinterest and don't have time to decide whether something is worth pinning. You can like the Pin and then go back through your likes to determine if you want to pin them later.

Make a Pinterest Board to Spark Ideas

Curate a Pinterest board with student-friendly ideas. When students finish work early, let them explore the board of items that you've curated for their curiosity.

Find Awesome Boards

Use Pingroupie to find large groups of people curating boards together. An excellent way to find good boards is by searching and watching for repeating pinners. You can also go to excellent pinners like Edutopia or Laura Candler and click on "following" to see who they're following -- or just type /following/ after any user's name.

Typical Collections

Some ideas for Pinterest boards include:

  • Portfolio of student work
  • "Hall of Fame" featuring best work
  • Inspiration or "Things That Make Me Laugh" board
  • Lesson plan ideas by season, theme, or month
  • Classroom decorations
  • Ideas for personal learning
  • Awesome infographics
  • Favorite books or movies.

About Joe Clarkin

Joe Clarkin is a former copywriter at MBS. When he’s not working or studying, you’re most likely to find him reading a book or watching a game.

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