Is Pinterest an educational tool? Should you use Pinterest in the Classroom? I gave it a test run, and my answer is, “YES.”
Pinterest is a must for teachers.
• Teachers can find educational resources.
Pinterest is an amazing education tool for teachers. All we need to do is click on the Education category, and we can view little pictures of tons of educational ideas and techniques. Just click on the picture (see the note below), and we’re off to the website where the picture originated from.
• Teachers can network with other teachers.
If teachers find pins that they’re interested in, the can follow that person’s Pinterest boards. Teachers can begin to follow teachers who may teach the same subject or grade level. While these teachers may not know each other, they are sharing ideas. They are sharing classroom techniques. They are sharing! That’s the key.
So, what about Pinterest for students? How can we make it work in the classroom? Can it be an educational tool for teachers? Yes, it will, but it will take some work.
Pinterest will work for small groups of students with some Pinterest prep work.
• Choose your categories wisely. I stick to the education category and don’t visit the humor category.
• View the images, but don’t click on the link until you've read the web address at the top of the pin. I’ve clicked on a picture of rock candy for a recipe and an image of children in Halloween costumes and ended up at adult sites!! This could happen in your classroom too. If I had read the web address at the top of the pin, in both cases, I would have realized where I was headed. Ask students not to click on the links. (Unless you preview where all the links go, I suggest this policy.)
• Follow your friends and other educational pinners. In a previous post here, I’ve asked educators to add their Pinterest education boards to my post. This is a good place to start. Click HERE
to locate educational pinners.
• Think small. I suggest using Pinterest in small groups or individual settings. Homeschool is great option since parents can observe their children.
• You may wish to use your account and modify who you are following or set up an account just for your students (it’s still your account, but you limit who you are following).
• Choose to view pins only from the people you follow when students are using Pinterest with students. Preview all of the pins (you don’t need to click them since students will not follow the links, but make sure that the images are student friendly pins.)
Two Pinteresting Lessons
What I Want to Do in School
I’ve moved from the classroom to the homeschool room and decided to try out a small Pinterest lesson with my son.
Before our lesson, I created two new boards for my son. They are named My Child’s What I Want to Do in School
and My Child’s Dr. Seuss Project
We started with what my child wanted to do in school. I follow friends and educational pinners, so I reviewed all of the pins that were coming up. I decided the best option was just to use posts from the pinners that I followed.
Then, I taught my son how to use Pinterest and he scrolled through the page and pinned the pins that he liked and wanted to do in school.
It’s been about a week since he started the board, and he’s asked a few times when we’re going to get to try some more items from the board.
I’ve also installed the Pin it button, so when we are online and he finds something he’d like to learn more about, we add it to his board.
I like this activity because it gives me a chance to see what my student is interested in. It also makes him involved in the learning process and gives him input.
Lesson Two— Pinterest Literature Connection
Next, I tried a more academic approach. I knew my educational pinners would be pinning away about Dr. Seuss on his birthday, so I figured that I could tie Pinterest into our lesson that day.
We read several Seuss books including the Lorax since the movie was coming out. Then we discussed Dr. Seuss’s characters and settings and talked about those items in our books.
Then, I sent my son to Pinterest (I had previewed the pins) and gave him some freedom. I observed but didn’t dictate what he should pin. I asked him to pin images that showed characters from Seuss books or settings from Seuss books.
He enjoyed this process. He even wanted to add some of these items to his What I Want to Do in School
board. Technology really seems to get students involved, and we had a fun time learning about Seuss characters and settings using Pinterest.
So, yes, you can and should use Pinterest in the classroom, but you need to do some legwork, and in this case, small groups or individual learning is the best way.
Have you used Pinterest with your students? Please add a comment and share.
Enjoy and, of course, come follow me on Pinterest:
Robin of Little Blogfish
I also teach Integrating Technology in the Classroom online through Ed2Go. Learn more about my class here: