If you’re a visual person like me or you’re just looking for oodles of inspiration, you should check out Pinterest. The premise is simple. You and other users see something on the web that you like. You “pin it” to the topical board that fits. Your followers and you can refer back to it just by clicking on the “pin,” which leads you back to the web site. You can also view others’ boards and pins and “repin” them to your own boards. It’s a diigo or favorites for the aesthetically inclined.
There is one major negative to Pinterest. Currently, you can only “pin” sites with pictures or videos. So let’s say you come across a great journal article that doesn’t have any clickable images, you can’t pin it. You also can’t pin .pdf files. But, for sure, the positives far outweigh the negatives.
Here are some of my favorite things about Pinterest that make it so great for teachers:
- Instant inspiration – If you follow the right boards, you’ll be presented with great ideas across many topics. I’ve picked up smart ideas for teaching various subjects, building community, and managing the classroom. Now that school is starting up in a few days and I’ve had to set up my room, I’ve been mining my pins to see what might really work well for me (or is worth a try).
- Increased traffic – Using the “Pin It” button on WordPress has enabled me to vastly increase the number of hits on this site. In fact, “Tips for Avoiding a Nightmare First Day” has been pinned over 1,000 times! My blog is receiving unprecedented traffic in the last three weeks.
- Opportunities to learn with colleagues – A bunch of my colleagues are also active pinners. I have come across several awesome ideas from their pinning activities. This is an updated way to reap the benefits of visiting a colleague’s classroom for ideas!
A word of caution as you enter the world of Pinterest: it is best to pin directly from a given post – rather than the site as a whole. For instance, if you were to pin this post and you used the pin it extension (which you’ll need to download to use Pinterest), your pin would refer back to From the Desk of Mr. Foteah, not this actual post. In order to make sure you can get back to the site you pinned, you must pin the post specifically.
Have fun pinning! My Pinterest boards are available by clicking here.