Using Pinterest to build upon student’s interests and enrich their learning.

by Donna Staten

Introduction

Today’s students are growing up in a digital world with many devices. Since technology is very relevant in their lives it is something we can use it to our advantage to enhance their learning.

In the past, the way I taught my subject (to over 600 students, K – 5 in elementary art) was by bringing in physical examples of posters, prints, books, and student works of art. Now I no longer need to do any of that because everything I need is already digitized and available in one place on Pinterest.

The ways I’ve been successful with implementing Pinterest in my classroom:

–First I begin by already having something from Pinterest up on the screen as soon as students walk into the classroom. Having the multimedia experience of video, music etc. on screen keeps children entertained and engaged, especially dual language, ELL and special needs children. Even when language is a challenge, these other modalities are ways they can connect with the material.

–Next, I curate an online art gallery for my students, where all students have a personal portfolio of every piece of artwork they have ever created, saved forever. Besides having this digital record of their work, these online portfolios also have a community component, where family members can view and comment on their work. It’s a good way for families to get involved in the students’ education, especially for families who are geographically distant.

–Then, as a teacher, I also rely on Pinterest as a Professional Learning Network for access to over 100,000 subject matter experts when I have questions on topics. It’s like having a big family of like-minded people who are there to support you.

Although my subject area is art, there is a wide range of content available on Pinterest for various subject areas, age levels, and teaching situations. You can find rubrics, videos, lesson plans, anchor charts, behavior charts etc.–all in one place that’s accessible from anywhere.

Reflections

What I did well (in sharing this practice with other teachers)?

I believe that I showed many ways that Pinterest can be used to improve student engagement through social media/technology. It has improved student interest and participation in my classroom in ways that I could not access before. There are still many more ways that the site can be utilized by teachers such as brain breaks, flipped classrooms, virtual field trips, differentiated instruction, etc. Pinterest gives you a place to “file” all of these virtual things for easy access­ for both you and your students.

What I would do more of, better, differently (in sharing this practice again)?                    

I have my boards set up as a resource for others. I really need to create some smaller, more specific boards to correlate with each of my lessons. I have way more information on my boards than would be necessary to teach a single topic lesson, but again I have done that on purpose to allow others to pick and choose what will work for them. 

In what ways do I still want to learn and grow in using this practice in my classroom?

The beauty of Pinterest is that it is constantly growing with new and fresh ideas! There are over 1.3 million education pins added daily! I continue to search for, pin, and share new strategies for the classroom. Students will get bored with the “same old thing” after a while, so why not try something new through Pinterest!

Donna Staten

Donna Staten has become an internationally known art teacher through her willingness to share resources via the social media site Pinterest. Her over 120,000 “pins” contain lessons, videos and othe...

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