Because Pinterest is influencing education, will it rule the world? If we believe that “He who controls the schools will control the world,” Pinterest will rule the world.
As an educator, I have always borrowed and gleaned ideas from people. Harry Wong said it best: “Teachers who beg, borrow, and steal good techniques are teachers whose students will achieve.” He also went on to say that he is “the biggest burglar in the education field!”
I am always looking for new ideas. Having been in the field for a number of years, I have developed a repertoire of things to do with my students, including activities, investigations, and experiments to conduct. But I never write them all down in one spot, nor do I keep a running tally of what I have done or not done in recent years. I know that I need to not focus on the “project,” but it is nice to have an activity that ties into the theme or topic that we are studying.
At first, Google became my primary resource. I could enter the theme that I needed to flesh out, and, bam, tons of options or ideas would pop up. I have found some amazing resources from all around the world. Some of my favorites include great English language instruction support from Great Britain; though I do have to explain some British vocabulary terms.
Lately, I have noticed a trend. My Google queries are turning up lists of Pinterest posts. I am amazed at the number of ideas pinned and the educational resources pinned. I never thought Pinterest would take this direction. What a huge resource to me! My only annoyance is that I get a link to a link and have to follow the rabbit trail to the treasure. But there is almost always treasure. In my searches with Google, I get one link, click, and there. But I admit, Pinterest is really putting everything I need or could think I need in one spot.
The first time I discovered the Pinterest infiltration into my search engine was a few months ago when looking for a better way to teach reading. A one-room schoolhouse teacher suggested getting the book The Daily Five by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. So I ordered it and while waiting for it to arrive, decided to check out the Internet to learn more about the Daily Five. Here is what I found. Pinterest has an entire section devoted to this topic. Several sites (remember, treasure hunt) have free downloadable documents.
This week I wanted a fun way to do math, so I looked for a glyph. In my search I found an easy bunny one. This would have been just find if I only had kindergarteners but it was too simple for my older students. After a bit more searching I found this one from Talented Kids Zone:
I have also begun to find Pinterest to be a dream world for education. There are so many wonderful ideas on how to enrich what I am already doing in the classroom, a way to take it a step farther or deeper in learning.
In science, my students are creating a science journal where we do a directed draw of an animal indigenous to the continent we are studying, then they write facts that we research about that animal. Each child has their own binder.
But this Pinterest find on science notebooks will allow my students to delve into the habitats with a visual representation they create. The same author’s how to make a rain gauge will be wonderful in finishing up our water cycle unit.
There other thing that I have learned about Pinterest and education is that homemade things are making a comeback. Years ago, when I taught a workshop called Math for Young Children, I brought in several examples of how make things instead of buying them. Participants weren’t interested: “Why make it when I can just go to Walmart?” But Pinterest is displaying a resurgence of the thought, “Hey, I can do that.” And I say, “Why, yes you can.”
I am excited about the direction Pinterest is taking and really do think it will be the new ruling social media.