Friday, May 10, 2013

A How to Guide to Pinterest for Teachers

Pinterest featue in Metro - 27th February 2012
(Photo credit: Great British Chefs)
Teachers LOVE Pinterest!  I have lots of friends who tell me that they now spend more time on Pinterest than they do on facebook.  Do you feel that way?  Or is it a site you've not looked at yet?  If the latter is true, I'd definitely encourage you to try it. Pinterest has become one of the best ways to share creative ideas and lessons out there.  I recently took at class on Pinterest through my school system (I'm not kidding, it's that helpful for teachers!) and although I was already a Pinterest fan, I still learned a lot. 

Why is Pinterest so engaging? Pinterest is informative, visual, interactive AND a great way to share creative ideas for lesson plans or classroom activities.  Of course most teachers don't just have a board for school.  There's also a board for recipes, home design and gorgeous locations to vacation!  At least that's some of the boards that I have created.

What is Pinterest?  It is a website that is nothing more than a huge bulletin board where you can "pin" or attach pictures and web addresses of things that you like on the web. Find the perfect lesson for Earth Day?  Then create a link on your school board and you can refer back to it easily without searching for days for the elusive site that described it.  Discover a recipe for Grandma's chocolate cake?  Pin it to your dessert recipe board and you'll never be frantically searching for it again.

Joining Pinterest and Setting Up Boards

Here's how the site works.  First you must set up an account.  You can do that here by going to and click on Join Pinterest.  Masure that you choose to sign up with your email address not facebook or twitter. 

Next you can create a profile and your boards.  In the beginning, there is a tendency to create general topics for your boards but I will advise you now to go ahead and start out being more specific.  I started with a board called school and it wasn't long before I was scrolling through way too many different topics to find the perfect book for a lesson.  Now I have them divided into categories:  guidance lessons, books for children etc.

As you set up your boards you will notice that at the bottom there is the option for a secret board.  I really couldn't figure this out at first but discovered that sometimes brides use it to plan for a wedding, you might use it to plan a surprise party or anything else that you want to collect articles for but don't want others to know about. There is even an option where you can share the secret board with someone else if you are planning an activity together.

Searching Pinterest for Great Stuff

Whenever you log in to Pinterest, lots of items that others have pinned to their boards show up.  You can follow other teachers that you know to learn about their lessons and activities. You can also search the site for certain topics or just look at the general or popular things that are pinned.  There is so much information on Pinterest that you can spend hours scanning and pinning.  It is great fun!

Adding a "Pin It" Button to Your Toolbar

Finally you will want to add a "pin" button to your tool bar so that when you are searching the web, you can pin lesson plans or books or whatever onto your boards. Many sites now include a "pin it" button but if it doesn't have one you can easily add it to your toolbar by logging into pinterest, selecting goodies from the toolbar and dragging the "pin it" button provided to your toolbar.  Pretty simple!

Pinterest is a wonderful resource for schools!  I'd love to hear how you are using Pinterest in your school counseling or teaching career. Also, please follow me on Pinterest so we can network and share ideas!

Like this blog post?  Please share with friends on facebook, twitter or PINTEREST!
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