Using Pinterest in the Classroom

In the Preschool, we have four classrooms, each with a lead teacher and two supporting teachers. We spend a lot of time in conversation about what provocations to provide for the students. Each classroom has different areas for the students to explore. At the end of last year, one of the assistant teachers suggested the team use Pinterest as way to collect ideas for our classroom.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is an electronic ‘pinboard’ consisting of images gathered from around the World Wide Web. Once you find a site that interests you, you ‘pin’ it onto your pinboard by selecting an image. On your ‘pinboard,’ you can create different ‘boards’ to organize the pins.

This video summarizes Pinterest well –  

Please note that you no longer need an invitation.

How does it work for a group of teachers?

We  created a log-in and password for ‘ISM Preschool,’ therefore all teachers have access. As we look for and stumble across valuable ideas, we can ‘pin’ them onto our site for everyone to see. A more effective way may be to create a board and ‘invite’ others to pin onto it; the board will then go onto their profile. I will try this with my team!

What are the benefits of using Pinterest?

  1. Many hands make light work. Thirteen people looking for similar information means we have the potential to increase our EFFICIENCY (this is one of my goals for this course).
  2. The information is organized when others go to use it.
  3. We can upload photos of our own provocations/set-ups to share and use later.

 What are the disadvantages/problems of using Pinterest?

  1. It has the potential to be a huge time-waster. I can get lost on pinterest so easily as I discover interesting ideas which leads to a new blog….and before you know it, an hour has passed.
  2. You need to have an established idea of the focus of the pins for a group. We want pins that provide opportunities for hands-on explorations in our Preschool, however there are many ‘thematic’ boards that can distract you from your focus.
  3. A collaborative board could easily ‘die’ if you don’t get everyone involved. (Which reminds me – I need to remind my teachers about our pinterest board)

How else can it be used in teaching?

I wanted to find other ways for using pinterest in the classroom. First I read a site with 37 suggestions.

Number 36 is my new favourite!

I found a pinterest board of ways to use Pinterest in education. I immediately noticed a pin about creating a wish list – now I know how I will get my teachers to keep track of items we need to order locally and overseas!

How is this helping me reach my goals of this course?

Feeling inspired to ‘pin!” Photo by h.koppdelaney

My goals are to use technology in an EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT way. I am now re-inspired to get my team using Pinterest as well as using it to discover new ways to use technology with my documentation. (Idea for another blog post?)

Who else uses Pinterest in their teaching? How do you use it?

Using Book Creator

1Book Creator is an app that I have been hearing a lot about. It is being used by educators to have children make an e-book, sharing what they have learned.  Having downloaded the app a few months ago, but never having used it, I took the opportunity of this course to explore how to make a book.

Steve directed me a site with step-by-step instructions on how to make a book. You can change the text and background colours, as well as add photos and sound. For this first book, I used only photos.

Once I finished, I needed a way to share it with families. The site suggested sharing it with Dropbox. After downloading and reading the site again, I realized this was instructions to make a collaborative book. (Reminder to self – read the whole post before following the instructions.) Sharing via drop-box certainly would be useful for collaborating with the other Preschool classes, but I needed to find out a different way to share this with the families. So I went back to the app and noticed the export icon below my book.

Clicking onto the icon, gave me these options (see photo). I then exported the book as a PDF file and emailed it to my school email. Done! Shared with families.

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Has this app helped me with my goals for this course? One of my goals is to find new ways to document the learning in my classroom so I can be more EFFECTIVE. This app has the potential to document learning effectively – I can collaborate with my students to document what happened and what they learned. This is especially important with my young non-literate students. However, I can see the app assisting in developing children’s understanding that text carries meaning as I type their words, and for those who are beginning to recognize words, they can work on their beginning reading skills.

Now I need to explore the app further to figure out how to share a finished book that contains voice or video. Adding the students’ own words will make the books even more meaningful for families and the children as they see their thinking being valued and published. Looking forward to continuing to explore with Book Creator…in my classroom!

Wonderings?

By Wha’ppen at Flickr.com

What do I want to get out this course? What are my goals?

This year my personal goal is to use technology in an EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT way to observe and document what my students are learning. I want this course to assist me in reaching this goal by:

– helping me develop my general technology skills and therefore be more EFFECTIVE
– providing opportunities to practice my video making skills so I can be more EFFICIENT in sharing learning with children and families
– finding new ways to document the learning in my classroom so I can be more EFFECTIVE
– practicing blogging skills so I am more EFFECTIVE and EFFICIENT
I can’t wait to get started!