Monday, September 3, 2012

One More "Pinteresting" Way to Connect Educators

Becoming a "connected educator" has undoubtedly changed the course of my career and is always evolving. First FaceBook. Then Twitter. Then blogging. Tweet chatting. And, now Pinterest.

A friend who is also an elementary teacher sent me the "invite" to join Pinterest (it's open access now). I accepted and started exploring. At first, it was just looking at crock pot recipes, exercises I should be doing, and funny and inspiring quotes and E-cards. (If only my real life was a true reflection of my pin boards) I browsed the "Education" category mostly finding elementary teachers and their awesome creativity. But, not so much to share with high school teachers I feared. Then, I started noticing other Edtech professionals - familiar names from the Twitter network. And, lately, I've started using the search features to find  high school teachers  and topics of interest to follow like BYOT or flipped classrooms. They are out there! Math, Science, Langauge Arts, Foreign Language, and many more educators who are sharing their expertise and resources through pin boards. It's exciting to repin and share resources for teachers in my school as well as the rest of the cyber world. Like other forms of social media, the possibilities for professional networking and sharing are unlimited. So, why do I like Pinterest to connect educators?

  1.  It is appealing to a "visual" audience in a way that Twitter isn't. Yet, when I find something I want to share from Pinterest, I can click the "share to Twitter/Facebook/Email" to reach other audiences.
  2. It's a permanent storage area for links and resources organized by my own categories.
  3. I can find a recipe for dinner and read a professional article... all within the time it takes to stand in line at the grocery store. The people and boards I follow direct the content I can peruse via the main board with a timeline of pins.
  4. It's a great conversation starter with teachers..."Hey, I saw you repinned me yesterday... what did you think of that Algebra II activity? Would it work for your students?"
Although Twitter will always be my first love for connecting with others, I find great value in the art and science of pinning too. (The Google Chrome Extension for Pinterest is a MUST) One teacher compared Pinterest to online hoarding. Whatever you call it, I see Pinterest and my other social media tools as keys to getting better at what we do! Will you join me in a "pinteresting" adventure to connect and grow as an educator?

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