I had signed up for Pinterest ages ago, but really couldn’t get my head round it at the time. I saw it as being pretty similar to Scoopit, and therefore pretty much about curation and collecting, bookmarking stuff to share with others. It is very visually orientated, mostly showing just pictures and generally the stuff I want to look at online is text based, so it didn’t appeal and I left it alone.
It wasn’t until Emma showed her Pinterest board where she is collecting ideas for her new classroom that the penny dropped. This is definitely a place where pictures are essential, especially for those of us, like me, with very little imagination when it comes to design, layout and colour!
Instead of trawling the web and ‘pinning’ my own stuff (the equivalent of social bookmarking), I’ve discovered that there is a critical mass of teachers (many US based) using Pinterest, so in fact you can look through the ‘discover’ section for education and find some really useful stuff. If there is something I want to save, I repin it, then take a quick look at the person who has saved it initially. This is a quick way to find new boards to follow, and I’ve pretty quickly built up a great collection of boards to follow. I really like the American ideas I am seeing, gives things a different slant, though I’d like to find a few more UK teachers to follow too.
I have also been using the ‘post to twitter’ option when repinning which helps to share what I’ve found more widely. I can always add the #bm tag to the tweet if I think I might need to save the original link to delicious as well (using packrati.us).
I just have one board so far, classroom ideas which is mostly about ideas for how to layout my classroom, displays I might want to use and a few craft activity ideas. I’m not sure if I will expand to other boards, as I will be likely to save other ideas to delicious, I guess it depends if I find another ‘visual area’ I need to work on (maybe art, design and technology activities ?).
The app is well thought out and a great way to browse ideas quickly. Shame there isn’t a full size iPad app.