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Social Media in the Classroom: Tap Into the Power of Pinterest

Teach on the Edge


pinterest for teachersBack in the old days, more or less a few years ago, I would collect shared resources by printing them and filing them into folders for various purposes. Fast forward a year, and I found myself labeling emails into categories, compiling resource lists into wikis, and organizing my favorite sites by Delicious and my notes by Evernote.

Despite the clear leaps and bounds I’ve taken, no Social Media in the Classroom idea has topped Pinterest for organizing all facets of my life, from classroom ideas to vegetarian recipes. Beyond the curation of content, however, there are a few ways schools and teachers can tap into the power of pinning.

Trade Text Books for Online Resources

Ditch the textbooks for the resource board. Despite popular belief, classes can operate without a hard-cover bound book with chapters. Building up boards with often-free online resources may create wiggle room in the budget for more exciting and interactive tools, like say ... iPads?

Social Media in the Classroom: Faculty Pinterest Boards

Break down the walls of the faculty lounge. Creating boards where teams can meet and collaborate to build up learning experiences and resources removes, or at least reduces, the frustrating obstacle of shared planning time. A nice example of this practice is W. T. White High School.

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Use Pinterest to Brand Your School

Market, and dare I suggest it ... brand your school. I know that branding is a dirty word in education, but within every school are teachers and administrators who know that something special is going on in there which everyone else should know about.

Creating boards which showcase the components of your school’s mission not only helps teachers operationalize the mission but provides parents and prospective families insight to who you are and what your pedagogical philosophy is. One great example of a school doing this is the Cincinnati Waldorf School.

Invite Parents to Pin

Partner with parents and other stakeholders. Parents who want to be involved should have several outlets for participating towards the positive growth of the school. Some parents have time to spend at events, but other parents can offer off-site help by contributing resources and ideas to a planning board.

Pin Positive Classroom/School Pictures

Catch people in the act of being brilliant. The simple act of capturing pictures which showcase the positive aspects of a school’s culture is an easy way to validate both teacher and student effort.

It can be an effective way of motivating everyone to give their best as the recognition is authentic and is repinned by others who learn from the examples beyond the school walls.

"Get Connected" Perspective

The strongest argument for engaging in social media interaction among educators is the augmenting of our own skill and perspective by connecting with others.

Some educators feel intimidated by Twitter, LinkedIn, or other networking sites, but Pinterest seems to appeal to a whole new set of teachers. There is no one-size-fits-all tool for networking or collaboration; the more tools we have to differentiate the approach to connectivity for teachers...the better!

Getting Started

Don’t know where to start? Search a topic relevant to your practice.

I have boards for Differentiated Instruction, Ed Tech Tools, Digital Citizenship, Favorite Blogs and I follow many others for tips on technology integration and classroom fun. The absolute best thing about Pinterest is how easy and fulfilling it is to pin, connect, collect, and repin. “Happy Pinning!”

Share your tips for teachers on pinterest in the comments section!