When I was growing up, I loved to tear pictures out of magazines and pin them on a bulletin board I had in my room. As I grew older, I cut out images, quotes, craft ideas, pictures of places I want to visit and taped them into a book. Nowadays, people don’t need to grab the scissors when they see a something they like. They can “pin” it.
Pinterest is the newest way people can organize their ideas and share them with others. It is often compared to a bulletin board. When a person found a picture of shoes they wanted or found a new recipe she or he wanted to try or found a costume she or he planned to make she or he would tear, cut, print it out and pin it on a bulletin board. Now, when you find something you like on the web, you can “cut it out” and pin it on the board you create in Pinterest. Pinterest is your virtual bulletin board. It is a great way to visually see things you like and visually organize them into different boards. Teachers can use Pinterest as a way to share and collaborate on ideas. Teachers within the same school building, school system, surrounding districts, state, and different countries.
I would bounce around a lot when I taught the Deaf. One year I was teaching third grade. The next year I was teaching fourth grade. The following year, I taught second, then third, and then again second. Every year I felt like I was first year teacher. Not only did the grades change but so did my room. I would throw out ideas and folders thinking to myself, “I’ll never teach that grade again. Why keep that idea?!?!” Or I would loose activities in the move. If Pinterest was around when I taught, I could have organized my activities by grade level, ability level, subject matter, or whatever I want! And instead of packing up all of my files or moving a big, heavy file cabinet, all I would have needed was a computer and internet access. Oh! The trees I would have saved!!!
Before I go any further, let me go over some important terminology.
- A pin is an image or a video you like and want to keep for future reference
- When I taught, I would find cute craft ideas to use for the different holidays or seasons. I would make print out a copy of the activity and file it away. Most of the time, I would forget all about it or couldn’t locate it because I had A LOT of files.
- With Pinterest, I can do a search for “fall craft ideas.” When I find one I like, I pin it. (I’ll get more into detail about how all that works.)
- Before I would cut out the idea, now I just click on it or pin it.
- Think of the board as your file folder
- You found an idea you like. You want to keep it. You take out a file folder, label it, and put the clipping in it. When you want to use the idea, you go into the folder.
- A board is your virtual file folder
- There are no limits as to how many boards you can have and you can label them how ever you want!
- Did you ever see an idea from another teacher and say to her or him, “I really like that idea. Can I have a copy of it?” That’s repinning!
- Pinterest allows you to search other people’s boards.
- When you find an image/video/idea that you like, you can repin it (copy it) into a board you have already created or create a board for it.
O.K. now that we have gone over the vocabulary, let’s talk about setting up an account.
Starting an Account
Setting up an account it easy. You can use your e-mail account, Facebook account, or Twitter account. On the next page, you will see a bunch of images and be asked to pick 5 that you like. The purpose of this activity is for Pinterest to get to know what you are interested in so they can suggest people to follow. We’ll get into “following” a little bit later. Then, you will fill out a profile page on yourself. Your username will be how people can find you. FYI: You have the option to hide your profile so if anyone were to do a search on you, your pinterest board would not come up. All you have to do is click on “hide.” Once your account has been verified and it is all set up, it’s time to create your boards and start pinning!!
There are two ways you can pin an image. You can pin an image from the internet or you can pin an image from your own computer. I am just going to focus on how to pin from the web.
Pinning from the Internet
The easiest way to pin an image from a website is to download the “Pin It” button. You can find it under the About tab. This way whatever you pin, will have a direct link to the web page you got it from as well as give credit to the person who created the idea or took the picture. After you select the “Pin It” button, it will walk you through the directions as to how to add it to your bookmark bar depending on what web browser you are using.
Find an image or idea you like and want. Click on the “pin it” button in your bookmark bar. Below is a video in how to pin an image from the web.
You are given 4 boards at the start but there is no limit as to howmany boards you can create. To add more boards,just click on the Add tab at the top.
Next, you will have to name your board. After you have named your board, click on the “edit board” button under the board. Here you can add a tag line for your board. This is helpful so people know what the board is all about.
Pinterest is really a community for sharing which is great. One way for ideas to be shared is by following. There are two ways to follow on Pinterest. You can follow a person or a board. By following a person, you will see every board that person creates. That’s great if your school has teachers creating boards solely as a means to share with others. But let’s say, your friend (outside of school) has a board on integrating technology in Math. Your friend also has boards for vacation ideas, remodeling her bathroom, birthday ideas for her 5 year old. You may not be interested in those boards. You are only interested in the one about integrating technology in Math. Not a problem. All you have to do is:
1. Find your friend (if you sign in by your e-mail and she is a contact, she will pop up there)
2. You will be brought to where all her boards are housed.
3. You will see, in the middle of the board in red is “Follow.” That will allow you to follow all the boards your friend has created.
4. Under each board is the button, “Follow.” Click on that button to just follow that one board.
That’s Pinterest!!! I hope this inspires you to get rid of your file cabinet filled with ideas you probably haven’t used in years because you have forgotten them and allows you to be free to pin new ideas to be used not only by you, but your colleagues. I will post more about the other features of Pinterest at a later date.
Save a tree and start pinning!!!