I’ve been playing about with Pinterest for a few days after I was very kindly sent an invite from Little Angels Special School in Donegal who have a super web site as well as Pinterest site. What is Pinterest and why are people very excited by it?
Pinterest describe themselves as a virtual pinboard and it’s as good a definition as you’ll probably get. For me, after a few days of playing around with it, it seems to me like a very pretty version of Delicious, the social bookmarking website. Essentially, if I find a web site I like, I can “pin” it to my Pinterest account under different headings. I investigated how I could use it for education. I’ve started off with a few including educational things and maths. Pinning things to your board is very easy, and even easier with an extension to your web browser.
I don’t think Pinterest is particularly revolutionary but it has other functions which I found nice. You can search the site for topics. For example, I typed in “education” and a very attractive looking Pinboard popped up on my screen with loads of images with links to other users’ items that they had pinned their stuff. I found a few teachers who have done some very interesting things. Examples include a collection of display boards in classrooms, a collection of ideas for behaviour management and a collection of maths images.
I think the thing that separates Pinterest from other social bookmarking web sites is its colourful display of images. All web sites must have an image in them to be accepted. You can comment on a pinned item, adding a layer of social networking to the mix. Little Angels Special School has used this to great effect on their Pinterest board.
The main downside I find with Pinterest is it requires an image to be on a web site before you can pin it. There are some great articles, blog posts and other tidbits that don’t have any images and, thus, can’t be pinned. However, as most web pages have some form of image on them, it’s not really a huge deal. I’d say it would be an interesting place for Irish teachers to share their resources, ideas, images and so on. Visually, Pinterest is a lovely way to store your favourite links and ideas and might suit those who like their bookmarks visual. However, if you’re already on a social bookmarking service like Delicious or Diigo, I’m not sure if there’s much point moving…but will you be able to resist?
Last Update: August 9, 2017