by Priscilla Warren
There are many resources available to educators to assist them both in teaching and through professional learning and development. Pinterest is one such resource that can be used for reference, inspiration, planning and tapping into educational research. Initially I intended to create a personal Pinterest site that would illustrate the amazing uses of this website and follow that with an essay. But I have since decided to share both my Pinterest site and my thoughts with other educators in a series of blogs entitled: “Pinterest for Educators”. It is my intention that by blogging my experiences I will grow as an educator as well as growing the ‘collective intelligence’ that exists online. This independent project will be covered through three instalments that include: (1) Images, Plans & Assessment (2) Upgrading your Technical Know-How and (3) Collective Intelligence. By broadening my circle of influence to include a wider audience through the inclusion of these blogs, I believe I have achieved my goal which is to improve my own development within a participatory culture, adding to the collective intelligence of educators online. I can now see myself as a ‘global citizen’ who’s one voice can make a difference by working as an ‘agent for change’. It is my hope that these blogs will inspire and encourage others to explore and participate within contemporary society.
WHAT IS PINTEREST?
Pinterest is a free website that allows users to collect, sort and store visual images (called pins) as well as other media sources (like video clips, lesson plans, articles) into collections known as pinboards. Content can be repined from other users boards or from outside Pinterest and uploaded to your chosen board through a ‘Pin It’ button that can be downloaded to the bookmark bar on your web browser. Launched in March 2010, Pinterest has gained great popularity worldwide as a means of bookmarking items of interest, with as many as 48.7 million users worldwide in 2013 (Wikipedia, 2015, May 24).
HOW CAN I USE PINTEREST TO HELP ME PLAN A LESSON/UNIT IN THE CLASSROOM?
At the moment I am learning about critical media literacy so as an example I will look for advertising resources to demonstrate how to use Pinterest as your point of call to collect some amazing resources that can be turned into a great unit plan. These planning ideas that I will share can be used with any topic you wish: advertising, life cycles, writing, sports, the list is endless. Let’s look at five ways we can use Pinterest to enhance our teaching and learning process.
‘A picture paints a thousand words’. The use of images is a powerful tool to illustrate, provoke, inspire, and reflect on certain aspects of your chosen topic. Opening up magazines and print material is great for hands on activities and has been well used by teachers. Searching the internet can also reveal HUGE quantities of fantastic pictures that would otherwise be difficult to access and can be ‘pinned’ onto your chosen pinboard for further reference. Storing these images in a convenient personal file or pinboard where the site can also be accessed at a later date by clicking on the image, saves the time needed to write down any web addresses for reference. These pins can then be printed or organized into a PowerPoint slide show of images for discussion with your class. Here are some advertisements I found on a simple google search for ‘advertisement images’ focusing on beverages. Beneath each image you pin, a short caption can be written to describe your pin, how it can be used, where it came from, for what age group or however you decide to describe your pin.
2. Video clips
In a similar vein, video clips can be found either by searching within the Pinterest site or on the Web and saved to one of your pinboards. These clips can be shown individually, in a series or interspersed with the images you found earlier into your own tailor-made presentation specific to the needs and interests of your students. The following two clips I found on YouTube deal with advertising. The first clip illustrates techniques used to influence viewers and the second video gives some example advertisements that we can evaluate and discuss in class.
A video that lists advertising techniques and shows examples of each one. Persuasive unit. Middle primary+ Viewing time 5:35
Compilation of food commercials aimed at children – YouTube. Great examples to deconstruct in class. All food based so will need to find other examples (toys, outdoor activities) to mix with these in a slide show I think. Viewing time 4:19
3. Lesson plans/ Unit plans
Through the rise of Internet, teachers no longer need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to lesson and unit planning. There are multiple sites nationally and internationally that you can re-use, tweak for your own needs or gain inspiration from. These plans, blogs and websites can all be pinned to your chosen pinboard and viewed at your convenience. I pinned http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/persuasion-through-advertising that had great unit plans for ‘Persuasion through advertising’ (suitable for middle primary+).
4. Background information/ research
The accessibility of research is now a touch away and can be stored easily onto your own pinboards. These could be for your own reference/professional development or maybe something you would like to share with colleagues at school. I pinned http://www.apa.org/pubs/info/reports/advertising-children.aspx which is the ‘Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Advertising and Children’ as background reading for myself.
There are many ways students can illustrate their learning. Media is one path that can be explored – using photos, digital stories, videos and twitter are all great examples that can be used effectively in the classroom to express their understanding of the concepts learnt. (These examples and more will be discussed in more detail in my second blog “Pinterest for Educators Part 2:Upgrading Your Technical Know-How”). Finding great examples and pinning them to your board will allow you to experiment with other avenues of teaching, learning and assessing that perhaps you did not think to use before. Use these as inspiration pins for you to ponder on and use/tweak as you decide.
Example of student response to advertising. Taylor Semon created a YouTube video “Advertising & Marketing Techniques Aimed at Children”. Sound dips in some parts. Viewing time 8:10
Example of a year 5 class using media as their response to a research topic on endangered species using the iMovie app on iPads. Viewing time 1:40
A teacher’s work is never done – there are always lessons to plan, resources to collect and return, assessments, meetings, evaluations… and remember there is still the actual ‘in-class teaching’ to be done too! Pinterest offers a portable and easy to use personal, visual library that can help us in many areas to make teaching less a chore and more an exciting adventure. Join me in Part 2 of “Pinterest for Educators”, where we will explore how Pinterest can be used to upgrade your technical know-how.
Pinterest. (2015, February). Retrieved May 24, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinterest
Pinterest pictures attributed to: https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=images+pinterest+sign&espv=2&biw=1280&bih=709&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=6jtoVZfnFMuB8QXu84GgAg&ved=0CBsQsAQ#imgrc=_
Tiger picture attributed to: http://www.stockvault.net/photo/140114/tiger
Spongebob gif attributed to: http://buzzfeed.com/giffeed/5862211