After our Spring Open House in March, my coworkers and I went out to grab a bite to eat. All the girls were talking about their new addiction: Pinterest. I’d heard of Pinterest, but I wasn’t quite sure what it was. To me it just seemed like a fad, or a way for girls to plan their weddings long before they have a ring… or even a boyfriend…
But from what the girls were saying, Pinterest sounded pretty cool. A way to share DIY craft ideas, recipes, house and home design ideas, and fashion? I’m in. So I signed up for Pinterest and started pinning. And it has started to take over my life.
The fact that there is basically an endless stream of pictures, videos, quotations and ideas, all pertaining to my areas of interest, is irresistible. Since it’s such an innovative website I started to think… how can I use Pinterest in a productive way? (Instead of wasting away my evenings pinning pictures of places I can’t afford to travel to). As a future teacher I figured there must be a way to incorporate this resource into my future classroom!
So all you Concurrent Education students take note – I have devised three different ways to use Pinterest in the classroom (…and I am sure there are many more. The possibilities are endless!)
Civics and Careers: Personal Collage – I remember when I was in grade 10 taking Civics and Careers, my teacher had us create a collage that was supposed to epitomize who we were. The goal was to develop a sense of our identity on paper, including our likes, dislikes, and goals, in order to begin figuring out where we wanted our careers, and our life paths in general, to take us. How cool would it be to do this same project on Pinterest? Not only would it allow the students to have more options as far as what they include on their board (you can’t put a video on a paper collage, but you can pin it to your Board!) but it would also speak to their computer skills. Most students now a days are very computer-literate and enjoy surfing the web (if people even say that anymore). The point is, I think many kids would prefer doing an online collage as opposed to a cut and paste paper collage. What do you think?
English/Drama/History: Character study – Whether the character is fictional (from a novel or play) or real (a historical figure), Pinterest could be used as part of a character study project. Each student could pose as a different character on Pinterest (again, depending on the subject, could be fictional or real). As their character, each student would then create a variety of Boards as their character, which could include fashion, food, likes/dislikes, music, hobbies, quotations, etc. For example if my character was Hamlet, I could have a Board titled “My Style” with pictures of all the princely clothing that Hamlet would have worn from his time period, or a Board titled “What’s On My Mind” with a series of pictures and quotes portraying Hamlet’s slow decent into madness.
History: Wars – Teaching about war is difficult. You have to deal with many touchy subjects including death, racism, political corruption and sometimes even child soldiers. In this day and age it might be hard for students to relate to stories of war. In Canada 2012 most students haven’t experienced war first-hand, or even death. I think Pinterest could help students understand the brutality of war a little bit better. You could have some students pose as parents, some as elders, some as political leaders, and some as children, from all the different countries involved in the war you’re teaching. From there each group could create a series of Boards depicting the war from their perspective. A political leader, for example, might have a lot of pins involving money and statistics, whereas a child’s pins might emphasize confusion. I think one of the great things about Pinterest is its capacity to visually stimulate – perhaps the visual of all the images/quotations/videos that the students choose compacted together on the screen would be a powerful way to depict the moods and attitudes in war torn countries.
These are just a few ways I think Pinterest could be used in the classroom. Do you guys have any other ideas about how Pinterest could be used in your future career path? Share the knowledge 🙂