Friday, March 23, 2012

Guest Post - Using Pinterest in the Classroom


This Guest Post is by Samantha Peters, who runs and enjoys writing about new ways for teachers can use Pinterest and other social media platforms to enhance learning in the classroom.

Pinterest is the newest member to arrive on to the social media scene, and it has taken social media users by storm – quickly becoming one of the most popular social media platforms today. However, this site is not solely to be seen by educators as yet another classroom distraction. Pinterest can actually be highly beneficial for a number of reasons:

Lesson Supplements
Students learn in a wide variety of ways, and many learn best when the lesson is interactive. When covering certain topics, whether it be World History or Trigonometry, use Pinterest to post lesson supplements. If you find articles, stories, or YouTube videos that will help students further grasp lessons, Pin them to that lesson's Board so that they have access to tools that will help them supplement their education.
Current Events
Several large news and information sites, including the Wall Street Journal and National Geographic, are members of Pinterest, and have active boards. Simply by choosing to follow them, you can keep your class easily up to date on the most recent breaking stories and finds. These stories can then be used to prompt further classroom discussions or debates, and even lead in to larger projects.
If you are teaching higher level courses, such as those for college students, you can post Pins and have students comment below to create an online discussion board.
Project Ideas
If your students are struggling with project ideas, Pinterest is a great place to go. Create a board on Pinterest exclusively for classroom projects with several Pins of different project ideas. Your students will be able to actually see previous projects, and get a better understanding of what you are looking for and what they can do to create a successful project.
If you are wondering whether or not students are staying on top of their individual or group projects, don't ask for the generic written report. Instead, have each group create a Pinterest account and then post research that they have found, as well as any pictures and project ideas, to their Boards so that you can actually watch their progress, offer criticism when necessary, and make sure that they are using credible sources.
The aforementioned are just a few of the numerous ways an educator, whether they teach 8th grade at a Los Angeles junior high or 19th Century History at a Miami community college, can use Pinterest to further engage their students in the classroom. The highly iconic nature of the site sets it aside from other social media platforms, and makes it a pleasure for students to use. So if you are looking for another way to refocus your students, consider bringing Pinterest into the classroom.


Social Media in Education - connect, share, learn, communicate and more

Popplet - online presentation, mindmapping, and bulletin board


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