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Pinning Down the Cloud
The social networking site Pinterest offers more than wedding reception ideas and vegetarian recipes. In the hands of thoughtful educators, it’s becoming a source of invaluable information. The virtual bulletin board gained an early reputation as a frivolous corner of the Internet. As tech-savvy teachers, school counselors, and others in the field have seen the value of sharing important ideas in a quick and fun way, this social cloud resource has become a practical place to turn for helpful hints and expertise.
One example is School Counselor Julia V. Taylor’s page. Her “boards,” the name given to a collection of information gathered by the user via “pins,” include Tech Savvy Educators, School Counseling, Education and Leadership, and Media Literacy. The Salvaging Sisterhood board emphasizes her professional interest in assisting girls and young women with identity development and strength of character. (See For School Counselors, Technology Enhances the Human Touch.)
While these pages can reflect an individual professional focus, there are “generalist” boards as well. Using Pinterest in Education includes some cloud-specific resources such as tips on blogging and leveraging Pinterest to engage student interest. There’s even a wiki called Pinterest 4 Education “that will provide you with all the details needed to get you started and keep you going.”
Looking for Montessori ideas? There’s a board for that, called Education Ideas. Just a few others worth looking into:
Children’s books: books that “build character,” picture books, classics
Art projects: fingerpainting, making stamps, paper cutouts
Spelling: practice tests, worksheets, flashcards, and hands-on activities
Science: facts, pictures, experiments, informative graphics
Educational games: from individual activities to family fun, from homemade to prepackaged
Search for topics choosing “boards” or “people” related to that key word search. A list of options will appear, and you can pursue your own Pinterests.
Margo Pierce is a Cincinnati-based freelance writer.