Using social media such as Twitter and Pinterest for professional reasons provides educators the opportunity to expand the professional learning community (PLC) and to collaborate with educators across the nation and the world. When used correctly, social media has the ability to help expand the base of knowledge and support to help better their teaching. If not carefully monitored, however, social media can take over your life. It is important to determine your need and to find the platform that best meets that need.
I decided to give Pinterest a try instead. (You can check out my board here.) As much as I enjoyed the conversation, what I really needed were ideas. Pinterest provides an endless stream of ideas that I can use now or pin to use later. It's like having a scrapbook of all the ideas I ever wanted to use and being able to pick and choose as needed. Pinterest connects me to people all over the world - not just teachers - that have great ideas. I don't have to spend hours and hours looking for authentic resources for my class; Pinterest has culled these resources for me.
A few tips for making Pinterest work for you:
- Create and title boards in a way that works for you. My boards are done by teaching topic or grammar point. This way, when I get to a specific topic, I know where to find the materials I am looking for.
- Pin for now and later. If something catches your eye, it must be for a reason. There is plenty of space on your Pinterest account, so you might as well tuck that gem away for later.
- Follow good people. As you pin, check out the people that are pinning the same things you are. Chances are, they are looking for the same stuff and have a wealth of resources for you to use.
- Don't just search based on your subject area. There are so many great ideas out there. Why can't a Math idea be used in Language Arts class? As a Spanish teacher, I have used pins from homeschool, preschool, Social Studies, Math and more! Just be creative!