How to use Pinterest in the classroom

As an extremely new teacher, it’s sometimes difficult to come up with classroom ideas, especially as I don’t have a draw full of back-up ideas or past teaching plans. Sometimes, common sense is fairly useful – things like, ‘you can only have 5 things on a desert island, what do you take?’ or ‘students must turn their phone off after 10pm – write an opinion piece’ can work well, but not always!

I started off teaching an elementary class and an intermediate class – both were delightful, but I was being bombarded with questions such as ‘why do we use phrasal verbs?’, ‘why do we say which and not that?’ and so many more! Occasionally, and embarrassingly, I was stuck for an answer to some of them.

I was reading books, teacher’s blogs, articles on how to become a better teacher, how to lesson plan more efficiently, but none of them prepared me for questions that I didn’t have an answer to! My only option was to start learning as much as possible, as quickly as possible!

That’s when I realised, Pinterest! I took to Pinterest to see if I could find answers and inspiration…

“Isn’t it just like Facebook?” Many people have asked me.
The answer, as many of you know, is no, it isn’t.

Pinterest is far less personal and much more beneficial for business, products and learning, especially learning languages. “How?!” I hear you asking… I’ll tell you…

Once you’ve made an account via Facebook, Google or your email, you start off with a blank canvas. Essentially you have a pin board and you can stick whatever you like on it. You can create separate pin boards for different topics.

Pin1

I created a separate Pinterest account specifically for my teaching – and my boards contain the headings: Phrasal verbs, comparatives and superlatives, IELTS writing, English slang, Passive tense… to name a few.

pin2

Benefits of using Pinterest in general

  1. When you see an image you like, you save it to a board (or under your chosen heading) and you can refer back to it whenever you like. You can also download an image to your phone or computer, you can share it via Facebook, Whatsapp or email.
  2. There is a vast amount of ideas for all situations
  3. People aren’t sharing their breakfast photos or updating about their latest break up – AND you can tailor what you want to see, keeping your homepage entirely relevant to you and your interests.

Benefits of using Pinterest for teaching

  1. You can connect with other teachers and their pin boards
  2. You can create pin boards for separate lessons, levels, topics
  3. You can share these pin boards with your class, whether that’s in class or allowing them to access the board at home via their phones or computer
  4. You can keep your board completely relevant to your classes, no images of avocados or work-out plans!
  5. It’s PG! There’s no spam or unwanted images that you have to worry about, unlike many of the social networking sites
  6. It’s brilliant for brainstorming – whatever age or level you teach, wherever your students come from or whatever their reason for studying.
  7. Most students love being able to use social media for learning. They appreciate being able to use it in the classroom and that you give them the opportunity to use other methods, not just books and handouts.

Believe me when I say there’s something for everyone on Pinterest!


For more ideas on how to use Pinterest in the classroom, you can read an in-depth post by the writers over at Best Colleges Online here.

Are you using Pinterest in the classroom? Let me know how in the comments.

xo

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