At the heart of our work is designing compelling learning experiences for our students. Great lessons are engaging, develop skills, convey knowledge, and speak to the individual needs of each child. They are both challenging and achievable, while aligning to our curriculum and the academic standards our community embraces. They provide opportunities for our students to create, communicate, collaborate, and think critically, and they give students ownership of their learning by providing voice and choice.

Building 180 of these lessons each year is a tall order for the creativity and organization of any teacher.  Fortunately, none of us have to rely on only our experiences and imaginations to create daily learning experiences. Our professional learning networks open the doors to the best ideas from teachers all over the world. There are dozens of great online tools that we can use to locate, curate and organize great lesson ideas, and there are fantastic social networking tools where teachers share ideas every day. One great tool that does all of this is Pinterest.

What is Pinterest?

Check out this video to get a general sense of how Pinterest works:

Why Pinterest?

There are two features that make Pinterest such an effective tool for teachers. The first is it’s interface that allows an individual to curate ideas. First, users find content that is useful or inspirational. These items are called Pins in the Pinterest metaphor. Those pins are collected (Pinned) on Boards. So, as a user, I might pin an idea for a lesson plan in Math to my Math Resources Board. My Boards become an effective place for me to explore great ideas that I have found over time.

The other great Pinterest feature is its community. Many educators share their Boards publicly on Pinterest. As a member of Pinterest, I can follow educators whose Boards are useful to me. I can also Re-Pin their ideas to my Boards with a click of a button. In effect, I have access to the power of thousands of educators who are organizing their ideas on Pinterest, and by sharing my Boards, I am supporting the learning of my fellow educators.

Here is a great Prezi that shares some terrific ways that educators are already using Pinterest to enhance the learning in their classes:

NOTE: If the Prezi doesn’t show, click the puzzle piece icon to run Adobe Flash.

Getting Started

Here are a few more resources to get you started:

Suggested Uses

  • Find, Pin and Share Classroom Design Resources
  • Find, Pin and Share Lesson Plan Ideas
  • Find, Pin and Share Inspiration for Teachers
  • Find, Pin and Share Great Articles and Blogs About Teaching
  • Find, Pin and Share Great Examples of your Content in the World
  • Find, Pin and Share Great Writing about Your Content
  • Find, Pin and Share Resources for Specific Lessons and Units
  • Find, Pin and Share Content that will Engage Students and Parents
  • Pin and Share Examples of the Learning that Goes on in Your Classroom
  • Find, Pin and Share Brainteasers, Writing Prompts, Brain Breaks, Ice Breakers, and Effective Teaching Strategies

Why it Matters (Teaching Rubric)

Our ability to design effective lessons for our learners that are engaging, well-structured, differentiated and aligned to our standards (Competency 1.1) is enhanced when we have access to a wider variety of resources. When we collaborate with colleagues both in our buildings and through online communities (Competency 4.1) we have the capacity to grow more quickly as educators, and to enhance the work of our profession as a whole.

Additional Resources

If Pinterest isn’t your thing, there are always other tools for both curating online resources and for collaborating and building your personal learning network. For curation, some of our favorites include LiveBinders, Symbaloo, Sqworl, Blendspace, and LessonPaths. If you are looking for thriving online collaborative communities, you can find them in lots of places. Some of our favorites include Twitter, Google+, Facebook and Instagram. Finally, if you are looking for tools that are like Pinterest, but that have more of an education focus, check out Participate (formerly EduClipper).

Your Challenge

Today’s challenge is to look at the options in a curation and collaboration tool like Pinterest and reflect on how you could use this resource to enhance lesson planning and professional collaboration.  Share those reflections in the comments below and if you have another great curation or collaboration tool please feel free to add it to your comments as well.   Commenting on others responses is a great way to share ideas and make educational connections, just remember that “active participation” is more than just an “attaboy” for someone else.  Enjoy!


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39 COMMENTS

  1. I love pinterest! It is my best PLN for all the classes I teach in math. While every link may not work 100% of the time I can figure it out most of the time from the picture. I have educational boards for geometry, algebra, consumer math, general classroom; technology, PBL, formative assessments, interactive notes, and grant ideas (maybe more-). I wish I could break down my geometry board within the geometry board for each unit. I could do it myself but I try to keep a limit of boards. I follow DOE’s Pinnovation too which spotlights new educators to follow and look through their finds, I like the sharing of pins that is so open compared to having to go ask someone for their idea.

  2. Sometimes teachers give their students choice using something like a tic-tac-toe choice board. Pinterest could take this to a whole new level. You could create pinterest boards to represent each choice the students have and on each board, you could pin the rubric, tools, sites, materials, etc.that students would use to carry out their selections. You may also want to consider including a pin with an example.

  3. I have used Pinterest for curating lesson ideas for a few years. I teach 6 different classes, so compiling resources and ideas, then finding them is important. I have boards set-up for each of the units in each of my classes – it has really helped me find more hands-on and STEM activities/labs for science. I have also used to create boards for edTech resources and FLL/Mindstorms resources. I’m not sure what I would do without the ideas and inspiration I receive from other pins.

  4. I began using Pinterest a couple of years ago and have loved it ever since. It makes finding new and creative ideas to use in the classroom so easy! It’s amazing the variety of ways you can use Pinterest too. I love the new feature where Pinterest brings up related Pins on your home screen. I also like being able to connect with other educators. I can follow teachers who have boards that are interesting to me and be constantly getting new ideas. I think one of the best things about Pinterest is being able to store all of my ideas in one place without have to go back through my Google search history to find a website I looked at two months ago. It’s also great to be able to just browse the Education section. It’s nice that it’s so current. I can always count on Pinterest to offer fresh, new ideas that make teaching fun!

  5. Pinterest not only offers resources but allows teachers to connect with teachers across the country for inspiration. When teachers use it for ‘networking’ as they follow other teachers’ boards, our access to quality instructional ideas increases exponentially. It is worth noting that some teachers, like myself, need to be reminded that teachers on pinterest are sharing their best work and not to begin comparing our work to that of others…but simply consider how we can improve what is happening in our classroom.

  6. I love all of the educational resources that I stumble upon in Pinterest. I would even like to get my students using it to find and collect info about a related topic in class. This year, I created a lot of lessons using Blendspace. I liked being able to put all of my videos and links together in one visual place. I would like it better; however, if they allowed students to comment on other students comments instead of having one big thread. I think Pinterest can really help me liven up old lessons by finding the latest videos, posters, or links. I need to devote a little time every week to searching for more resources.

    • Thanks for the shares, Michelle! As the person who advocated Pinterest long before I was willing to engage with it, I owe you a debt of gratitude for continuing to push me there. I still love LiveBinders as well, but Pinterest is now my go-to for casual curation.

  7. I’ll admit – originally I was not a fan of Pinterest for educational use. I was so limited in my thinking initially! I had reduced it to a “crafting and wedding” ideas site….oh, how wrong I was! Fortunately, I have the opportunity to work with many awesome educators everyday and one of them shared how she was using Pinterest with her kids. This teacher uses Pinterest for formative assessments. She has kids post a resource or image or idea that pertains to the essential question for the day. This not only builds up her resource library for use with future classes, but her kids are also engaged and are actually applying what they have learned in class.

  8. I try to check out Pinterest at least once a week looking through the different people/topics I follow to see what ideas can be adapted for my students. I’ve created a board for each subject as I also follow other teachers to see what creative ideas or resources they have found too. I love the endless amount of quotes that Pinterest provides that can be adapted to different topics. These are all digital pictures so clicking on them, saving, and then posting on my Student Learning Management System (Canvas) is pretty quick and easy to then share with students. http://www.pinterest.com/mrcoachk15/

  9. I love Pinterest for collecting all my websites I want to look back at when I’m considering new technology, curriculum needs, and collection development for the school or library. I’ve built pinterest pages on Education and iPads; Best Books/Best Resources; Critical Reading and Close Reading; Technology News; and I’ve even kept up the Common Core page I’ve created. Instead of bookmarking pages on my computer to access only from my computer, this website is great at saving web pages that you can access anywhere there is an internet connection. If you are curious, my page is http://www.pinterest.com/cscharre/.

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