Pinterest – a tool to bookmark or “'pin”' your favourite images and videos on virtual boards

February 28th, 2012 by Monika Jankowska-Pacyna

pinterestPinterest is the latest social media hype. Described as an online pinboard to organize and share the things you love, Pinterest had almost 12 million unique visitors in January, even with its beta stage and invitation-only registration.

The premise is simple. You sign up for an account using your Facebook or Twitter account, set up various categories to organize the images or videos onto virtual boards, browse through other people’s pinnned content and when you like something you find, you can “repin” it to your board, “like” it or “comment” on it.

You can also install a button in your toolbar to help you quickly pin content you find directly online.

Although it might sound simple, there are a few things to consider:

  • Not everyone has a Facebook or Twitter account.
  • Even though the pinned content often links back to website source, it is important to keep in mind that the pinned images and videos are copyrighted.
  • Not everyone wants to have their content pinned and there is now a code that can be added to a website to stop others from pinning its content.

The biggest question though is why would anyone use Pinterest? For artists, designers, photographers, product sellers, and even wedding planners, the answer is simple – to get ideas, be inspired and sell products. In fact, some businesses report an increase in their website traffic since they started using Pinterest as users explore the content and are driven back to the websites the images are posted on.

Many individuals decide to use Pinterest for personal use – to simply explore and store the images and videos they like. Whether it is to find and bookmark gardening ideas, room decor, fashion, recipes or cute pets, Pinterest gives them a chance to do it quickly and efficiently.

In the classroom, Pinterest can be of great benefit to learners and practitioners alike. It could be used by practitioners to search for and store images or videos they might want to use in the class while learners can use it for various activities and assignments. And the bonus – while having fun with visuals and getting inspired, they would be developing their digital skills as well.

Here are some ideas on how you can use Pinterest in your classroom:

  • Theme boards create a board related to a specific topic or event and use it as to start a discussion or activity with the learners. For example, you can gather images and videos related to Canada and use it in your Canada Day lesson plan. Click here to see our Canada board.
  • Research – have learners explore Pinterest and create boards related to a specific topic, presentation or essay. For example, they can pin content related to Earth Day, Christmas,   elections, health, hobbies and more. They can even create group boards by pinning content to the same board.
  • Reading lists and additional resources – since pinned content links to various websites, you can create boards that would allow learners to explore additional content and ideas. For example, while discussing Black History Month, you might want to gather content about famous activists and have learners explore it on their own.
  • Visual journals – have learners create boards to express themselves and bookmark content that inspires them.

Are you using Pinterest in your classroom? Do you have suggestions to share with others? Let us know – we will be happy to share your examples here.

If you would like to learn more about Pinterest, consider joining us for our Tech Tuesdays sessions:

  • Click here to learn more and RSVP to the face-to-face meeting on March 6.
  • Click here to learn more and register for the webinar on March 27.