Discovering and Exploring Pinterest for Education: Great vacation activity!

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Schools on Long Island were on vacation for February Break this week, but I am one of those educators who is never really ever completely free from planning or thinking to myself, “Wow, I should take some pictures and show my students “ or “I should buy this for a certain lesson I would like to complete”. I brought my iPad and did work on a ShowMe for one of my very favorite students, but I must say, that little breaks I had on my vacation were spent on my new obsession, Pinterest.

I was invited to Pinterest a few months ago, and had forgotten about it until I was searching for a story that a friend had forwarded to me. Well, it turns out, that I did not need to search for it because I remembered that my friend invited me to Pinterest and it was likely that she ‘pinned’ the article to one of her ‘boards’. Sure enough, it was there, and the great article I was searching for is easily found on one of my created boards.
Needless to say, when I should have been packing last Friday, I was figuring out how to pin, create my own boards, and prioritize which pins I needed to work on first!

If you do not know about Pinterest, which I have found that many of my friends are new to it, I describe it as a high tech way to display, share and organize your interests, ideas, or your ‘to-do’ list on categorized boards. I am sure you have all been in a waiting room at the doctor’s office, where you are pretty much forced to read magazines, and then a few ‘ideas’ (recipes, decorating, books, articles) catch your eye. You are not sure how to rip out the page so no one can hear you and then you file it in your purse or pocket, no sooner to totally forget about it and then go crazy when you try remember where you put it or recall off the top of your head what you had seen.

Well, with Pinterest, you can create a ‘pin’ of something you like to post onto a ‘board’, or see something of interest from someone who you ‘follow’ and then ‘pin’ it onto your categorized board. The best part is you can ‘follow’ people around the country who may have similar interests, fashions or home designs, recipes, or same profession teaching a similar grade as you. The educational learning activities, blogs, crafts, and cooking ideas, which can be shared are endless. The visual of pinning a picture and then having the activity described through the link makes the activity doable and useful. Sure, I have bought numerous teaching books about how to teach lessons, but the pins that members share show real life learning. This sharing environment has inspired me to create some pins that have been successful in my classroom.

I have to admit at night when my family was asleep on vacation, I was pinning away. I even completed three pin ideas on the long ride home. I could never say this about a ripped out magazine page, filed away somewhere next to my checkbook and make-up case in my purse.

If you are not on Pinterest, find someone who is because that person must invite you though email. I do want to give you a friendly warning however to block off a few hours of time once you accept the invite because you will find that a person you ‘follow’ leads to more ‘boards’ and even more exciting ‘pins’.

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